Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump issues new memo barring most transgender individuals from US military

Washington, Mar 24 (EFE).- The president of the United States has issued a new memorandum that replaces a previous blanket ban on transgender people serving in the US military.

The new directive, signed by Donald Trump and issued late Friday, allows these individuals to serve in the armed forces “under certain limited circumstances.”

The memorandum for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen states that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria … are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”

The White House defines those with “gender dysphoria” as “individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery.”

The directive gives the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, with respect to the US Coast Guard, discretion to “implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.”

The memorandum replaces Trump’s earlier August 2017 blanket ban on transgender people serving in the US military, a move that has been blocked by federal courts.

That earlier directive reinstated a ban that had been lifted by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2016.

Trump said then that the Obama administration had made its decision without having sufficient evidence that the change would not “hinder military effectiveness and lethality, (or) disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources.”

In a statement, the White House said Friday that the new policy would “enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards – including those regarding the use of medical drugs – equally to all individuals who want to join and fight.”