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On Friday, Aug. 25, President* Trump signed a memo instructing the Defense Department to cease accepting transgender individuals who wish to join the U.S. military. The presidential* memo follows Trump’s announcement via Twitter last month that he’d implement this ‘trans military ban,’ and officially requests that the Pentagon begin to implement the ban.
As for how trans people currently serving in the military are to be treated under this new policy, things aren’t yet clear. Trump has directed the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security “to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law and all factors that may be relevant.”
According to CNN, “The White House official who briefed reporters on the memo on Friday evening declined to say whether transgender troops would be allowed to remain in the military under those policy guidelines.”
The memo also orders a stop to funding gender reassignment surgeries except in cases already in progress.
Here is the text of Trump’s original tweets concerning the trans military ban:
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.
A 2016 study by the Rand Corporation found the number of trans people serving in the military to be between 1,320 and 6,630. That study also found that allowing trans individuals to serve openly in the military would have a “minimal impact” on health care costs and military readiness.
Today is a sad day for the broader LGBT community and America.