In late July, President Trump shocked everyone by tweet-announcing a military transgender ban due to what he called “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” which he thinks keeps the U.S. from winning or something. He even managed to blindside military leaders with this announcement, and all branches refused to put the policy into place unless (or until) the White House issued actual guidelines. Well, the Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is in the process of finalizing said guidelines and readying them for Pentagon delivery within days.
That’s right, Trump’s seemingly impromptu tweets will apparently become reality for the up to 15,000 transgender troops within the military. The memo shall be 2 1/2 pages and will give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to implement the policy. Criteria shall include the “consider[ation] of a service member’s ability to deploy” when determing whether to boot existing members from their military careers:
The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document.
Mr. Mattis under the new policy is expected to consider “deployability” — the ability to serve in a war zone, participate in exercises or live for months on a ship — as the primary legal means to decide whether to separate service members from the military, the officials said.
Of course, one of the motivations for Trump’s ban was to erase President Obama’s lifting of the previous ban on open transgender military service, mostly because Trump’s devoted his life to undoing everything #Obama. Trump also has the support of the GOP Congress on this issue, and Mike Pence is pleased as punch because he was a driving force on the ban.
However, criticism of Trump’s ban won’t stop anytime soon, including this tweet from the VoteVets Twitter account: “There’s NO reason for a transgender ban. Military isn’t asking for it. Americans don’t want it. This is about Trump embrace of hate. Period.”