The White House in a memo issued Friday night announced orders to ban most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military following president Donald Trump's controversial policy pledge that sparked outrage in 2017.
The Trump order disqualifies transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria, defined as "those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery".
The White House on Friday announced a policy to ban most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
Looking beyond the excessive medical cost taxpayers must bear, Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, who believes changing sexes is "biologically impossible", says that being transgender is actually a "mental disorder".
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Last July, Trump threw everyone off guard when he took to Twitter to state that the USA government would not "accept or allow" transgender people to serve in the military; effectively banning their service in a rollback of an Obama-era decision to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.
"This is the same reckless ban that has been rejected by the federal courts, the American Medical Association, many bipartisan members of Congress, and most of the American people", said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The memo goes further to specifically dictate that individuals who have sought any medical treatment related to their gender identity are thus banned from enlisting.
He reached this conclusion based on recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Despite objections from rights groups, as well as top military personnel and politicians on both sides of the aisle, Trump ordered the policy, claiming it was "developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans".
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In removing the ban, then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter stopped the military from involuntarily separating anyone in the service, and gave the service branches a year to iron out how they would begin processing transgender recruits. It comes after court rulings froze the president's initial ban on transgender troops - issued in July - as potentially unconstitutional.
A 2016 study conducted by the government-funded RAND Corporation for the Pentagon estimated that almost 4,000 transgender troops were serving on active duty and in the reserves. Accordingly, transgender troops now serving may continue to do so, however, the Pentagon has the option to "require them to serve according to the gender at birth".
The memorandum said 8980 service members reportedly identify as transgender, with 937 active duty service members diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" since June 30, 2016.
The Democratic National Committee also weighed in late Friday, calling the decision "an insult to our fearless transgender service members and all who wear our nation's uniform", adding that "discrimination is not a national security strategy".
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Federal judges required the military to allow transgender recruits beginning January 1, and the Pentagon signaled in December that it would not stand in the way of the courts' rulings.