After issuing a blanket ban on all transgender troops a year ago that was held up in federal court, Trump issued a new memorandum that claims "transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition" cannot serve, the BBC reported.
A memo (pdf) from the secretary of defense released late Friday night notes that trans people are "disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances". Among those critics was Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, who tweeted that "t$3 ransgender members of our military have done more to serve and protect this country than Donald Trump ever will".
Mattis recommended, however, that service members "who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender".
It added that the secretaries of defence and homeland security "may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals". Now, Trump has announced a revised policy that comes from the Pentagon: Transgender troops will be allowed to serve in the military, but they'll be required to serve according to the sex they were assigned at birth, not the gender they identify with.
According to the order, most transgender people will be disallowed to serve in the national army.
Trump received recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in February for dealing with transgender individuals serving in the military.
It added: "What the White House released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy, for the sole objective of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban".
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"They could really discharge anyone who is transgender in the military". The study concluded that allowing transgender troops to serve would have "minimal impact on readiness and health care costs".
In February, the Pentagon confirmed to CNN that the first transgender person had signed a contract to join the USA military following a federal judge's ruling that said the military would have to accept transgender people.
"The policy effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country", Joshua Block, a senior staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union's LGBT & HIV Project, said in a statement. He has just issued a memorandum that would seek to ban potential enlistees from joining the military if they have "a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria".
But rather than addressing that narrow issue, Trump opted to upend the entire policy on transgender service members.
White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders said that the policy had been "developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans" under Defense Secretary James Mattis's directions.
The government wanted to keep the veto in force while it appealed the ruling, but in December the judge ratified it and the Pentagon is, in fact, complying with the law of the judicial resolution.