US President Donald Trump‘s controversial ban on transgender Americans in the military came into force on Friday. Followed by a protracted legal battle that went all the way to the nation’s top court.
Trump’s administration has insisted that there is “too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality” to allow transgender people to serve. He reversed the policy enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama.
The Pentagon says the restrictions are not a blanket ban. But would bar many if not most people who identify as transgender from enlisting in America’s armed forces.
The policy – which has undergone various iterations since Trump first announced it on Twitter in July 2017. It has been criticized by rights activists and repeatedly challenged in court.
The US Supreme Court ultimately ruled in January that the policy could take effect pending the outcome of ongoing litigation.
The Defense Department says people can serve if they remain their biological sex. They estimate that nearly 15,000 troops identify as transgender and could potentially be impacted by the policy.
What are the new rules
Under the new policy, any person who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has received medical treatment – either hormones or surgery – will not be allowed to join the military. If they have been diagnosed, but have not received medical treatment, they will still be eligible to join.
Gender dysphoria “involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify,” according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Troops who already transitioned or requested gender reassignment surgery prior to Friday are allowed to remain in the military.
Jennifer Levi, transgender rights project director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, said Friday: “That the Trump administration has pushed so hard to be allowed to implement this baseless, immoral and un-American ban is nothing short of shameful.”
However, the new policy is “indefensible,” Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, a Navy veteran, said on Twitter.
It is indefensible that Trump's ban on Transgender troops is being implemented on Friday. This discriminatory policy will lead Transgender service members, patriots who have decided to serve their nation, to live in the shadows.
It's an unfair, un-American, and dangerous policy. https://t.co/Yh9WxE0w8n
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 10, 2019
“This discriminatory policy will lead Transgender service members, patriots who have decided to serve their nation, to live in the shadows,” she wrote on Wednesday.
Source – nypost.com, aljazeera.com, business-standard.com, scmp.com, cbsnews.com