Trans military ban goes into effect

Military Troops photo courtesy of Palm Center
Military Troops photo courtesy of Palm Center

Transitioning, while in the military, will no longer be allowed

A ban on transgender service members originally Tweeted by President Donald Trump will become effective on April 12, 2019. The Defense Department issued the policy change. It orders that service members can enlist and serve but only as their biological sex and transitioning will not be allowed.

President Donald Trump, who has faced criticism for draft dodging during the Vietnam War, Tweeted in July 2017 that, “the United States Government will not accept or allow” transgender individuals “to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

“This is the start of an incredibly dark chapter in our nation’s history as the Trump-Pence Administration moves to implement an unconscionable ban on our brave transgender service members and qualified recruits who want to serve,” said American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “This horrific policy is even more cruel than ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ because the Pentagon explicitly told these service members it was finally safe to come out — and now they are being targeted for discrimination. We emphatically condemn this unconscionable transgender military ban because it undermines military readiness, destroys unit cohesion, betrays our service members and is based on nothing more than blatant bigotry.”

Trans service members will not be allowed to serve if they have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria

Under the new policy, troops and recruits can identify as transgender but must wear the uniforms, pronouns, and facilities such as sleeping quarters and bathroom facilities for their biological sex. A person will not be allowed to serve if they have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The policy will exempt service members that have already transitioned or have begun the medical process. Anyone defying the policy will be discharged. Opponents of the move say it is a way for the government to get discriminatory policies past court challenges on constitutional grounds.

Transgender service members have been allowed to serve openly and transition in the military since 2016. A long-standing ban was dissolved. Transgender recruits where allowed to enlist since the beginning of 2018. With the deadline fast approaching, some transgender service members and recruits are rushing to sign enlistment papers or start the transitioning process before April 12, 2019.

“We stand firmly with our members and the thousands of transgender troops serving bravely across the globe,” said SPARTA President Blake Dremann. “While the new policy may go into effect soon, it does not remove or lessen the contributions we continue to provide in the defense of our Nation. We look forward to a time when service members are judged solely on their capability to complete the mission. We will continue to work to make that a reality.”