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Donald Trump just banned most transgender people from the military

Josh Jackman March 24, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press about the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress early Friday, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on March 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. After threatening to veto the legislation earlier today, President Trump announced he had signed the bill, avoiding a government shutdown. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump has moved to ban most transgender people from the military.

In an announcement which has outraged activists, Trump stated that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria… are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”

The statement, released through the White House, claimed that the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders”.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks about the spending bill during a press conference in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House on March 23, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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The White House also revealed a memo sent to Trump by Defence Secretary James Mattis last month, in which Mattis said there were “substantial risks” associated with trans servicepeople.

The Defence Secretary said that permitting some of them to serve would mean exempting them from a series of mental, physical and sex-based standards.

He added that it “could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.”

getty mattis
Defence Secretary James Mattis (Getty)

Mattis’s conclusions – which Trump has agreed with – stated that trans people will be allowed to serve “if they have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to our accession”.

He continued: “Service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria after entering into service may be retained if they do not require a change of gender and remain deployable [within] applicable retention standards”.

And Mattis added that “currently serving service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration’s policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender and receive medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.”

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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But, he wrote, those who “require or have undergone” gender confirmation surgery would be “disqualified from military service.”

If there were trans people who had not experienced gender dysphoria, they would be allowed to join the military, he said, but would be required to serve as “their biological sex.”

The statement, released through the White House, claimed that the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders”.

It was based on the advice of “experts” who had led Trump’s team to believe that the “accession or retention” of trans people “presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality,” the administration added.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress early Friday, with Vice President Mike Pence (C), and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (L), in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on March 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. After threatening to veto the legislation earlier today, President Trump announced he had signed the bill, avoiding a government shutdown. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin condemned the announcement and promised to continue battling against the Trump administration’s anti-trans policies.

“There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops,” he said.

“Donald Trump and Mike Pence are pushing their extreme anti-transgender prejudices onto the military over the overwhelming objections of bipartisan officials, national security leaders and the American public.

Protesters display placards against US President Donald Trump during a demonstration in front of the US Army career center in Times Square, New York, on July 26, 2017. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

“We will never stop fighting this discriminatory policy until every current and future transgender service member is treated equally and respected fully for their bravery.”

Trump announced on Twitter last year that all transgender servicepeople would be banned from the US armed forces, claiming they were a burden on the military.

The decision was reportedly taken without consultation with military chiefs or legal experts, and the policy has been repeatedly smacked down in the courts.

Transgender people were able to openly join the military from last month, after a court blocked Trump’s ban from coming into effect.

Earlier this year an official from the US military confirmed to ABC that an openly transgender service person had successfully enlisted in the Navy on March 1.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a working session regarding the Opportunity Zones provided by tax reform in the Oval Office of the White House February 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted a group of local elected officials, entrepreneurs, and investors to discuss "how the 'Opportunity Zones' designation in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will spur investment and job growth in distressed communities." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The unnamed trans person is the second person to enlist after the Pentagon was forced to comply with a federal court ruling which tossed out President Trump’s proposed ban on trans troops.

Despite the court order successfully allowing new trans recruits, different court actions have halted the implementation of the ban on current transgender service members.

Transgender individuals were permitted to enlist in the US military from January 1.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The first trans person to enlist during the Trump presidency did so earlier this year and is expected to enter their basic training in the next three months.

It is believed that since January 1, around 15 to 20 trans people have begun the process to join the US military.

Trans people are still subject to a large list of specific new guidelines, revealed as part of a Pentagon memo outlining how trans people in the military are to be treated in areas including bathrooms and changing rooms.

These state that applicants will only be allowed to join if a medical provider can confirm that the individual has been stable without “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” for 18 months.

Protesters gather in front of the White House July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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They must also certify that an applicant “has completed all medical treatment associated with the applicant’s gender transition, the applicant has been stable in the preferred gender for 18 months, and if presently receiving cross-sex hormone therapy post-gender transition, the individual has been stable on such hormones for 18 months.”

Those who have undergone gender confirmation surgery must have a medical provider certify that “a period of 18 months has elapsed since the date of the most recent surgery, no functional limitations or complications persist, and no additional surgeries are required.”

Non-binary applicants, however, will be forced to select their sex at birth on official documents, as the military does not yet have a third gender option

Related: First openly transgender armed forces officer celebrated in this stunning photograph

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Four separate lawsuits moved through courts across America to challenge the order which was first revealed by Trump on Twitter in the summer.

Despite being legally allowed to enlist, a trans man was denied entry to the Air Force in January of this year due to his gender identity.

More: military, Politics, president donald trump, Trans, Transgender, US, US

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