President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military is beginning to take effect at the US Naval Academy and other military institutions. The Defense Department confirmed to the Capital Gazette this week that the Naval Academy will stop accepting transgender students as of 2020, but those enrolled for the school year starting this fall will be covered by the Obama-era policy that allowed transgender troops to serve openly. The restrictions, which took effect Friday, reverse the Obama policy and deny service members medical care for gender transition, USA Today reports. The Trump policy also bans applicants who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
The Coast Guard Academy says it has also implemented the new policy and the US Air Force Academy has confirmed it will comply with the new regulations, the AP reports. An academy spokeswoman says transgender people can still serve "in their biological sex" if they have not had hormone treatment or sex reassignment surgery. There are an estimated 14,700 transgender people currently serving, and B. Fram of the SPARTA group, which represents transgender service members, says the new policy "turns off access to some of our best and brightest, and that's not what our country needs to win future wars." Six service members are suing the government over the ban, including Midshipman Regan Kibby, a current Naval Academy student. (Read more US Naval Academy stories.)