Another day, another controversy is intensifying in the White House. The Trump administration is in the “final stage” of writing guidelines for a ban on transgender people serving in the military. The policy could still have some changes, and there is uncertainty regarding exactly when it may be completed, according to a senior White House official.
Anonymous sources were cited by The Wall Street Journal when it reported that the White House had finished its rules and would soon issue guidance to the Pentagon on implementing the ban on transgender people. In the report, the Journal said that the new policy would give Defense Secretary James Mattis latitude on whether or not to remove existing service members under the new policy. Apparently, the focus will be on “deployability” when decisions for removal will be made. This aims at the ability to serve in a war zone, participating in exercises and living aboard a ship for extended periods of time.
This news was immediately met with condemnation by opponents to this shift in policy. The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), a group that represents LGBT military spouses, said that this change in policy is a “vicious assault on transgender service members.”
Ashely Broadway-Mack, president of the AMPA, said, “Despite the overwhelming bipartisan condemnation of his reckless tweets, President Trump is still pushing forward with his vicious assault on transgender service members.” She continued, “His foolhardy assertion that transgender service members are not able to deploy is simply not rooted in fact. Transgender service members are just as deployable as any other service member.”
President Trump surprised even his lawyers when he announced his intention to ban transgender service members in a tweet last month. Some conservative leaders have expressed support for Trump’s position, and the administration has received a number of letters urging the president to implement the policy.
Trump’s position was made in part to stop a congressional budget rivalry. Conservative Republicans had vowed to keep taxpayer money from funding gender transition and hormone therapies for those in the military.
What do you think about this impending policy change on transgender people serving in the military?