Trans troops are “risk to military effectiveness and lethality”
(VOA News) President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Friday that would limit the ability of transgender people who have a history of gender dysphoria from serving in the military.
The White House statement said transgender people with a history of “gender dysphoria” — defined as a conflict between a person’s assigned gender and the gender with which they identify — are disqualified from military service “except under certain limited circumstances.”
The statement said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen concluded the retention of “individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery — presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality.”
Mattis and Nielsen “may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals,” it said.
Trump first announced in July 2017 that he would ban transgender people from the military, reversing Democratic former President Barack Obama’s policy of accepting them and halting years of efforts to eliminate barriers to military service based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Transgender service members sued in August to try to block the ban, and a U.S. district judge granted them an injunction, halting enforcement of it until their case is resolved.
Trump then signed a memorandum in August that directed the military not to accept transgender people as recruits and halted the use of government funds for sex-reassignment surgeries for active-duty personnel unless the process was already underway.
His memo called on Mattis to submit a plan by Feb. 21, 2018, on how to implement the changes, which he did.
In February, Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn confirmed to VOA that the secretary’s recommendation was sent to the president on Feb. 23.
He did not discuss details of the guidance because it was a “private matter” between Mattis and Trump.
Eastburn said the Pentagon expects Trump’s policy announcement on transgender service members “no later than March 23.”
Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report. Displayed with permission from Voice of America via Repubhub.