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Admin Requests Delay of Court Order to Start Accepting Transgender Troops on January 1

by Countable | 12.7.17

UPDATED – December 7, 2017: The Trump administration has filed a request in federal court for a delay in the requirement to start accepting transgender troops as of January 1, reports The Hill. Administration lawyers argued that the deadline couldn't be met because there wasn't adequate time for training and other preparations:

"Given the complex and multidisciplinary nature of the medical standards that need to be issued and the tens of thousands of geographically dispersed individuals that need to be trained, the military will not be adequately prepared to begin processing transgender applicants for military service by January 1, 2018, and requiring the military to do so may negatively impact military readiness."

However, Pentagon spokesperson Army Major David Eastburn stated in recent days that the military was taking appropriate steps to prepare for the deadline:

"While reviewing legal options with the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense is taking steps to be prepared to initiate accessions of transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018, per recent court orders."

The administration and the plaintiffs have requested a response to the stay request by Monday.


UPDATED – November 22, 2017: The Washington Post reports that a second federal judge in U.S. District Court has completely halted the Trump administration's ban on transgender service members, stating that they are “already suffering harmful consequences” because of the president’s policy.

This latest ruling goes further than the late October ruling, in that it prevents the administration from blocking funding for sex-reassignment surgery for active service members.

Estimates vary on the number of active duty service members who are transgender, ranging from 2,500 to 15,500. Transgender service members are allowed in the militaries of 18 other countries around the world.


UPDATED – October 30, 2017: A U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C. has blocked the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members while the case makes its way through court. The judge ruled that, for now, the military's transgender policy will “revert to the status quo” of what it was before President Donald Trump’s announcement. The previous policy allows transgender people to enlist in the military and serve openly. However, the judge has not blocked the section of the presidential memorandum that banned military resources from funding “sex reassignment surgical procedures.”

Countable’s earlier story appears below.


What’s the story?

President Donald Trump signed a directive Friday that instructs the military to reinstate its pre-June 2016 policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving openly in the armed forces. The reversal comes because "there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed" to ensure that allowing such individuals to serve wouldn’t “hinder military effectiveness or lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources”.

Why does it matter?

In June 2016, the Obama administration proposed a change Dept. of Defense (DOD) policy to let transgender individuals serve in the military, allow DOD funds to be used on sex-reassignment surgeries, and enlist transgender recruits after July 1, 2017.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis delayed the policy from taking effect on June 30, 2017 and on July 26, 2017 President Donald Trump tweeted that he would reverse the Obama administration’s policy on the issue. Trump’s tweets were criticized for a lack of clarity about the policy change and how it would affect transgender personnel currently serving in the military.

Supporters of military service by transgender individuals argue that any American who meets the necessary medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve in the armed forces. They also cite a study by the RAND Corporation which found that annual costs to the military of covering sex-reassignment therapy would be between $2.4 and $8.4 million, and that it’d have a "minimal likely impact on force readiness".

Opponents argue that in a time of budget constraints, the military shouldn’t be expected to spend money on sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender personnel. They also cite estimates from the RAND study which indicate that depending on their treatment, transgender troops could be considered nondeployable for up to 135 days.

RAND found that while undergoing hormone therapy only would have no impact on deployability, a hysterectomy for an individual transitioning from female-to-male would lead to an estimated 111 nondeployable days and genital surgery for an individual transitioning from male-to-female would cause an estimated 135 nondeployable days.

Trump's directive calls on the Depts. of Defense and Homeland Security to develop an implementation plan for this policy by February 21, 2018 that addresses the status of transgender individuals currently serving in the military.

Tell your reps what you think of the Trump administration’s decision to reinstate the ban on military service by transgender individuals using the Take Action button.

Related Reading

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: USAF - A2C Janiqua P. Robinson / Public Domain)

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Written by Countable

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(655)
  • SouthernGal
    08/25/2017
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    This is another stupid trump idea. Anyone who is fit to serve and wants to should be allowed to.

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  • Susan
    08/26/2017
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    He is a mean hateful fucking piece of shit.

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  • Kodiwodi
    08/26/2017
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    This cannot legally stand. It is so very disappointing to see you give a promise and then take it back but then that is what this Administration will be known for in the end. Lying and cherry picking the Bible to justify its actions. The Liar in Chief will regret this move but it will have cost us millions by the times it hits the courts and many of your jobs.

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  • Jean
    08/26/2017
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    Please stand against this ban on transgender soldiers. We cannot go backwards!

    Like (162)
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  • Katrina
    08/26/2017
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    This is absolutely unacceptable discrimination. Shame on you Washington. Impeach this monster.

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  • Ron
    08/26/2017
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    "in the time of budget constraints" where 45 is bankrupting the secret service for his vacations. Brilliant.

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  • Jackie
    08/26/2017
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    Gotta love a draft dodger intentionally throwing out those who honorably serve. He is a disgrace & embarrassment to this country.

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  • Sarah
    08/26/2017
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    This is a horribly backwards policy. What does gender have to do with military effectiveness? The excuses given are just thinly veiled transphobia. The United States already spends a ridiculous amount of money on the military, so why can't we at least provide a comfortable life for those who risk their lives protecting our country? That includes gender reassignment surgery.

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  • Liz
    08/26/2017
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    As a Navy retiree, I absolutely abhor trump's proposal to ban transgender recruits from entering the military. About 15,000 transgender individuals serve in the Armed Forces honorably. This is nothing but meanness on the part of a bigoted old draft dodger. Let those who wish to serve do so. These people are far better Americans than trump has ever been. I urge you and your colleagues to call this out as the shameless bigotry it is, and to stand against it. Thank you.

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  • Camelotagain
    08/26/2017
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    Anyone willing and fit to serve should be allowed to serve; it's a powerful and courageous person who is willing to support his or her country in combat. We should honor those who wish to make that choice.

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  • Joanne
    08/26/2017
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    I think trump and his administration SUCK and I hate them. This crap needs to be stopped!!! Please, somebody do something!!!

    Like (57)
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  • Julie
    08/26/2017
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    Trump just wants to undo anything Obama signed in. Not because of its merits or lack of, but simply because Obama signed it.

    Like (54)
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  • Mark
    08/26/2017
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    Please resist this ridiculous posturing and get our foreign policy fixed before this savage president harms it beyond repair!

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  • Richard
    08/26/2017
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    Three trips to Mar-A-Largo covers the cost for all the trans folk in the military for a year. I guess preventing hundreds of soldiers from serving is worth it to make sure that our president's pockets are well-lined and his ego well-stroked.

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  • AlexRoseSc
    08/25/2017
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    No way in hell that this can stand. Don't let him do this.

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  • Tom
    08/26/2017
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    News flash! We have an all volunteer armed forces. If someone is fit, let them serve.

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  • Peggy
    08/26/2017
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    How dare our "draft dodging" president ban people who want to serve our country. Shame shame shame!!!!!

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  • John
    08/26/2017
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    It's time to Impeach this President He only cares about himself. The sooner the better when he's gone!🤡

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  • Sadie
    08/26/2017
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    Deplorable

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  • R
    08/26/2017
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    You would think a five-time draft dodging rich kid would just shut his mouth about the military. But no, this is a subtle gift to his homophobic fascist base, them and the white supremacists are all he has left

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