Has the Trump-Pence Administration finally taken into consideration the importance of transgender service members in the U.S. military? Though earlier this year the U.S Court of Appeals granted the administration a victory that left the fate of those who identify as trans in jeopardy, the ban in still in limbo.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgender troops face discharge, or a career in danger, if they chose to come out as transgender. In 2018, Trump revised a policy that deemed those who have experienced gender dysphoria or have undergone any kind of medical intervention in order to transition as unfit to serve the military. In 2017, President Trump stated the old ban led to grand medical costs. The 2018 policy claimed to differ from that of the previous year with the court saying, “the 2018 policy appears to have been the product of independent military judgment.”
Regardless of the opposing evidence and pushback, the change, dubbed a transgender military ban, has gone into effect. Countless numbers of noted medical associations have debunked the idea that transgender folks are not medically fit to serve the country.
The American Medical Association released a statement regarding the 2018 policy change: “The DOD regulation also instructs service secretaries to add gender-dysphoria to service-specific lists of ‘administratively disqualifying conditions’ that DOD regulations label ‘congenital or developmental defects.’ The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision.”
The Human Rights Campaign also stated 71 percent of Americans support the right for transgender individuals who want to serve in the military to be able to.
The transgender military ban is an outrage. Service members who are willing to put their lives on the line for our country are having their careers threatened by a president who avoided serving when it was his turn. #EqualityTownHall pic.twitter.com/BPE8oOWGlb
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 11, 2019
Recently, the House passed an amendment that would have altered the transgender military ban. However, the vision of the bill did not make it to the end of the final version. Various LGBTQ groups have written a letter explaining their disappointment with the passage of the amendment, which was proposed by Representative Jackie Speier.
“We are profoundly disappointed that this bipartisan amendment to end the ban on bravely serving transgender service members was not included in the final version of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act. Transgender troops served openly and honorably without incident for three years before this reckless ban on their service was put into place by the Trump-Pence Administration. Military leadership, medical experts, and defense budget experts have all provided evidence that the ban is without merit, costs the taxpayer, and is damaging to military readiness.”
The U.S military has stated there have not been any trans military members discharged under the ban as of August of this year. However, people are skeptical of that claim. The Trump Administration has not given up the data with regard to being transgender as the reason for any discharges.