Trump pushes forward with trans military ban

Posted August 25, 2017

There are currently 2450 transgender soldiers serving in the United States Military who are now unsure of their future service or access to healthcare. A spokesperson for Sparta, an advocacy group for LGBT military personnel, says there are no ongoing treatment regimens that would preclude transgender service members from fulfilling their obligations to serve in combat or spend protracted periods of time on a ship. Trump called the expense of transgender-related medical care "tremendous", and the congresswoman Vicki Hartzler of Missouri said the cost of covering service members' transition care was "over a billion dollars". To enforce it, the Pentagon awaits legal guidance on action that could result in removing transgender military members.

Trump announced his ban on Twitter last month, writing that transgender people would be prohibited from serving "in any capacity" in the military. A senior adviser to Mr. Mattis, Sally Donnelly, represented the Palm Center, an organization that advocated on behalf of the L.G.B.T. community in the military during the debate that led up to the Obama administration's decision to allow transgender people to serve, defense officials said. A study commissioned just past year by the military found medical costs associated with transgender service members represent a mere fraction of the military's medical costs and less than a thousandth of 1 percent of the Defense Department's total annual budget. It named as defendants Trump, Mattis and other military leaders including Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Trump's social media announcement in July was met with immediate condemnation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including Republican Sen.

According to an estimate by American think tank Rand Corporation, there were 2,450 out of the 1.2 million transgenders, who are on active-duty service.

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Five transgender servicemembers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Trump and top Pentagon officials earlier this month challenging the new ban.

Democratic members of Congress and veterans were among those who immediately criticized Trump, saying that such a ban is discriminatory and that it dishonors those who risk their lives to defend the nation.

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"Transgender service members are just as "deployable" as their cisgender colleagues, and any attempts to remove them based on this criteria is blatant discrimination".