Trump Bans Transgender Troops From Serving
But gives the Pentagon leeway to bend rule
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2018 5:25 AM CDT
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President Donald Trump gestures to people cheering him across the tarmac as he, arrives on Air Force One with first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump at Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, March 23, 2018.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – President Donald Trump is issuing an order to ban transgender people from serving in the military except under "limited circumstances," following up on his calls to ban transgender individuals from serving, the AP reports. The White House says retaining troops with a history or diagnosis of "gender dysphoria"—those who may require substantial medical treatment—"presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality." Trump received recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in February for dealing with transgender individuals serving in the military.

Trump surprised the Pentagon's leadership in a 2017 tweet when he declared he would reverse an Obama-era plan to allow transgender individuals to serve openly. His push for the ban has been blocked by several legal challenges (like this one), and the Pentagon began allowing transgender recruits to seek enlistment in January. Trump's current ban allows transgender people already in the military to remain—if they identify only with their birth gender—and gives the Pentagon leeway to grant exceptions to the ban, the New York Times reports.


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