President Trump has been pushing for a ban on transgender people serving in the military, citing their alleged financial and psychological strain (both false). On Friday, he released an official order enforcing this ban as well as giving Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis “wide discretion in determining whether transgender personnel who are already in the armed forces can continue to serve.”
While the ban on new recruits is still in place, Mattis announced on Tuesday that current trans troops would be allowed to continue service while a thorough study is conducted. Mattis released a statement saying:
“Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction. In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
While Mattis has expressed reticence to enforce this ban in the past, Trump is determined to roll back the Obama era policy. He tweeted his desire to strip trans people of the right to serve their country back in July saying:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
This was met with disgust by many, particularly former and current transgender troops who have sacrificed so much for their country.
(Via The Hill, USA Today)