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Trump Barrels Ahead with Reckless Transgender Ban

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Ash Orr (they/he)

Today, the White House announced an implementation plan for banning transgender people from joining or serving in the military. The ban, first announced via Twitter last July, remains on hold after six different courts held that it is unconstitutional and unsupported by facts.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

This is the same reckless ban that has been rejected by the federal courts, the American Medical Associationmany bipartisan members of Congress, and most of the American people. Yet the Trump-Pence administration keeps trying to barrel ahead. This plan has no basis in science, medicine, facts, or military readiness—only weak, after-the-fact justifications for President Trump’s irresponsible tweets. It aims to force out trained, capable service members and prevent the military from obtaining the most qualified personnel. A fraction of current service members who have already transitioned may be ‘grandfathered’ in and not discharged—but after this announcement, they will serve under a cloud of hostility.
Transgender troops have always served our country, and thousands of trained and capable transgender troops have been serving ably and openly for nearly two years without issue. Implementing this plan would cause needless chaos and expense for the military and discard valuable personnel with critical skills, not because they can’t do their job but because of who they are. As we have heard military leaders and lawmakers of both parties say so many times, any American who can meet the military’s tough standards and is willing to risk their life to keep our country safe should be able to serve. We will continue to fight this unconstitutional ban and we are confident that Congress or the courts will put an end to it once and for all.
The Department of Justice refused a court order yesterday to release the names of any military experts the President consulted before announcing the ban. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford has said he was “not consulted” before the ban was announced.

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