Trump approves new policy to ban transgender troops in military

The policy seeks to disqualify transgender troops who require or have undergone a transition with some exceptions

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published March 24, 2018 2:36PM (EDT)

 (AP/Olga R. Rodriguez)
(AP/Olga R. Rodriguez)

On Friday night, the White House announced that President Donald Trump has approved a new policy aimed to restrict transgender troops in military service. The new policy recommends to disqualify transgender troops who require or have undergone gender transition, or require significant medical treatment. However, it does give the Pentagon some freedom to make exceptions. This new policy amends the original policy from August 2017 which various courts found to be unconstitutional.

The memo, via Politico, states:

"Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense
state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender
dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require
substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery --
are disqualified from military service except under certain limited

The White House statement said, via Politico, that the new policy "will 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 for the best military force the world has ever seen."

LGBTQ advocates, like the American Civil Liberties Union, call it another "reckless and unconstitutional ban."

“This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence," the ACLU stated in a press release. "It is reverse-engineered for the sole purpose of carrying out President Trump’s reckless and unconstitutional ban, undermining the ability of transgender service members to serve openly and military readiness as a whole.”

The Human Rights Campaign said it's another attempt from the administration to push prejudices on the military.

“There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence are pushing their extreme anti-transgender prejudices onto the military over the overwhelming objections of bipartisan officials, national security leaders and the American public. We will never stop fighting this discriminatory policy until every current and future transgender service member is treated equally and respected fully for their bravery."

Reactions on Twitter share a similar outrage.

By Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon, specializing in health and science. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

American Civil Liberties Union Donald Trump Lgbtq Transgender Military Ban