President Trump Says Transgenders Will Not Be Allowed to Serve in the Military

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“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 cost and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”- President Trump.  The number of transgender people currently serving in the military is estimated between 4,000 and 15,000.

There are already between 15,000 and 4,000 trans troops in the military —the estimates vary wildly, and perhaps for good reason. Until June 30, 2016, trans troops were forced to hide their gender identity. When former Defense Secretary Ash Carter changed that policy, he also barred the discharge of troops “just for being transgender.”

Carter also called for allowing “transgender individuals to join the armed forces, assuming they meet accession standards.” That was supposed to happen by July 1 of this year. But on the last day of June, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced a six-month delay to allow the services to assess the impact openly trans troops would have on “the readiness and lethality of our forces.”

The House has also taken up the issue this summer, with a focus on whether the Pentagon should pay for troops to transition. Earlier this month, the House defeated a proposal that would have banned it by a 209–214 vote, with 24 Republicans voting against the ban.

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