Friday, April 12, 2019 was the day that President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military officially started.

 

 

Despite the victories for transgender troops in federal district and circuit courts, in January, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the injunctions that had been blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s implementation while the cases make their way through federal courts. Last month, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that they would begin forbidding openly transgender patriots from enlisting and discharging openly transgender troops who come out on or after April 12, 2019.

 

The DoD says people can serve if they remain their "biological sex". They estimate nearly 15,000 troops could be impacted by the policy.

 

Under the policy, any person who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has received treatment by hormones or surgery will not be able to enlist. If they have been diagnosed but have not received treatment will still be able to enlist. 

 

The justification that Trump uses is that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he said via tweet. However, the cost of covering transition-related health care would only amount to a 0.04 to 0.13% of the health care cost.

 

"Every casket and transfer case I carried was covered by an American flag. Every single one. And that is all I remember about any of them. I never knew their race. I never knew their religion or education or birthplace,” said Charlotte Clymer, transgender Army veteran and HRC’s Press Secretary for Rapid Response. On Wednesday, Clymer joined fellow veterans, currently serving transgender troops, and advocated on Capitol Hill to rally in opposition of the Trump-Pence transgender ban. 

 

 

Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 238-185, with five Republicans in favor of the resolution to oppose the discriminatory ban. That resolution was sponsored by U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force.

 

The ACLU has had a petition in opposition of the Trump-Pence ban since Trump’s “tweetstorm”, which currently has over 118,000 signatures of the 125,000 needed for its acknowledgement.

 

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said about the ban, ”The implementation of Donald Trump and Mike Pence's trans troop ban is a stain on our nation's history.”

 

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