Democrats prepare to fight Trump's transgender military ban

Posted August 31, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis shared details on Tuesday of how he plans to implement President Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members serving in the us military. On Aug. 9, "lawyers from GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging President Trump's directive to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military", according to GLAD's press release.

According to Mattis, the panel of experts will include members of the departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

"In the interim, current policy with respect to now serving members will remain in place", Mattis said in a statement Tuesday night. Until that happens, however, we will have to wait until Mattis compiles his findings for the President. The 2016 study estimated that there were anywhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops already in the active duty force of 1.3 million.

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The Obama administration reversed a longstanding ban on individuals who are transgender from serving in the military.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has just directly contradicted the Commander-in-Chief on what the USA response to North Korea's nuclear threat should be. The Slate report also quoted Chase Strangio, an ACLU attorney, saying that Mattis' "statements do not change the directive nor has he been given the power to retain transgender service members indefinitely". Mr. Trump first announced the sudden policy shift in a tweet July 26.

Members will be tasked with developing a system to "promote military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion, with due regard for budgetary constraints and consistent with applicable law".

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Mattis said he would provide his advice to Trump on how to implement his policy after the panel came up with recommendations.

Trump's announced that he would reinstate the ban before providing guidance to the Pentagon.

This study is not new to the military. In a landmark moment for the LGBTQ community, transgender service members were encouraged to be open about their gender identities while serving, without the fear of discharge.

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Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both her legs during combat, also criticized Trump's ban on transgender troops. The military spent two years carefully reviewing all of the relevant evidence on this issue and concluded that there is no reason to exclude transgender people from military service.