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Transgender military ban: ACLU files second suit, Mattis calls for study

Transgender military ban: ACLU files second suit, Mattis calls for study”

The announcement follows an order from President Trump - first announced in a tweet - declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy.

In a statement, Mattis said he would establish a panel of experts from within the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security to "to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president's direction".

Mattis' personal views on LGBT persons serving in the military remain unclear.

In his tweet, Trump said the reason behind the ban was due to the military's inability to cover the medical expenses of transgender soldiers, but banning them could cost the USA $960 million, according to NBC News.

In the defense secretary's official statement, Mattis said the department will "carry out the president's policy direction" and that the department will create a study and implementation plan "as directed" by Trump's memo. New transgender troops will not be allowed to enlist, but the Friday guidelines gave Mattis the discretion to study the issue and determine how to implement Trump's decision.

Summary: Defense Secretary James Mattis will allow now serving transgender troops to remain in the military.

Mattis had pushed that deadline back six months before Trump unexpectedly announced on Twitter on July 26 that he planned to reverse Obama's policy entirely, saying the military would neither accept nor allow transgender people to serve. The president said that the ban was needed to avoid "tremendous medical costs and disruption" posed by transgender people serving in the military. The others are Ryan Karnoski, a 22-year-old transgender man who lives in Seattle, and a transgender high school student from Corpus Christi, Texas. That ban will go into effect in about 7 months, on March 23.

What do you think of transgender service people in the military? The notion that there is any good faith "study" being conducted is a blatant pretext for unmitigated, vicious, baseless discrimination.

There are lawsuits pending against Trump and the DOD for this ban, including one lead by five anonymous active duty service members and another from the American Civil Liberties Union. This is exactly what Trump's ordered when he signed the trans military ban last week. A Pentagon-commissioned 2016 Rand Corporation study found that "allowing transgender personnel to serve openly" would have "little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness" and minimal costs.



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