Wednesday, March 13, 2019

U.S Banning Transgenders To Serve In The Military

     
      Trump has issued a directive on how to enforce a new ban on transgender in the service
The Pentagon's policy on transgender service was signed Tuesday night, barring those who require treatment for gender dysphoria, according to a copy of the directive. The policy will be effective on 12 April 2019, the memo noted. The new policy, however, does not allow special accommodation for incoming troops with gender dysphoria to join the military. The Legal Advocates representing the transgender troops lodged the court filing on the same day, requesting that the Pentagon should be prevented from implementing the policy.

Currently serving troops who have been treated for gender dysphoria will be allowed to continue serving. Transgender troops must serve in their sex at birth and must file for waivers for use of showers, bathrooms, physical fitness, and other standards, according to the policy, signed by David Norquist, the number two civilian official at the Pentagon. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who chairs the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel, blasted Trump and the Pentagon policy. She called the policy vicious and demeaning and took a swipe at Trump's avoidance of military service during the Vietnam War for having bone spurs. She vowed to fight the implementation of the policy.


Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the implementation of the rules represented an unprecedented step backward in the social and civil progress for the US and its military. "Throughout our nation’s history, we have seen arbitrary barriers in our military replaced with inclusion and equal standards," Tobin said in a statement. "This is the first time in American history such a step forward has been reversed, and it is a severe blow to the military and to the nation’s values."

The Obama administration lifted a ban on transgender troops in 2016, but President Trump reversed the decision in 2017 saying that transgender people would render the military “burdened with medical costs and disruption," setting off a series of legal battles. Last week, a federal court in Baltimore lifted a preliminary injunction that had prevented Trump from enacting the ban, which followed a Supreme Court order in January that lifted similar injunctions in two other courts. Service members who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria can be discharged from the military if they're "unable or unwilling to adhere to all applicable standards, including the standards associated with their biological sex." The memo issued Tuesday was signed by David L. Norquist, who is currently performing the duties of the deputy secretary of defense. 

The directive said transgender people are disqualified from serving in the military unless a mental health provider says the applicant demonstrated 36 consecutive months of stability in the gender they were assigned at birth immediately before submitting their application. The transgender applicant must also demonstrate they have not transitioned and that a licensed medical provider has determined that gender transition is not medically necessary. 

The troop or recruit must also adhere to the standards associated with the gender they were assigned at birth. "A history of cross-sex hormone therapy or a history of sex reassignment or genital reconstruction surgery is disqualifying," the directive said. Nearly 15,000 transgender troops currently serving in the US military, said the National Center for Transgender Equality. Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a nonprofit institute that's examined the issue of transgender people serving in the military, said the Trump administration has chosen prejudice and politics over the testimony of medical and military leaders.

"In almost three years of open service these troops built a strong record of achievement and earned the support of every service chief," Belkin said in a statement. "The Trump administration is determined to bring back ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a policy that forced service members to choose between serving their country and telling the truth about who they were."


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