Military Law

Trump announces ban on transgender people in the military

  • Print.


Transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military in any capacity, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning.

Trump said he made the decision after consulting with his generals and military experts. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he tweeted. The New York Times, the Associated Press and the Washington Post have coverage.

A policy adopted last year allowed transgender recruits to enlist or be commissioned in the officer corps by July 1. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that he was pushing back the implementation date by six months. The policy had also lifted the ban on transgender people already in the military, and transgender people were openly serving, according to AP.

Beginning in October, transgender members of the military were allowed to receive medical care and change their gender identification in the Pentagon system, according to AP.

Trump’s announcement was made as Congress was considering whether to continue paying for medical treatment related to gender reassignment. An amendment to a military spending bill that would have blocked such funding failed in the House two weeks ago.

Gay rights and transgender groups have previously threatened to sue if the military had banned transgender people from serving, according to the Post story.

The American Civil Liberties Union responded to Trump’s announcement with a tweet: “Thousands of trans service-members on the front lines deserve better from their commander-in-chief, @realDonaldTrump. Contact the ACLU.”

ABA President Linda A. Klein also voiced disapproval of Trump’s decision in a tweet. “We must honor those who defend our country,” she wrote. “No room for discrimination in military on basis of LGBT status.”

Story updated at 4:45 p.m. to include tweet by ABA President Klein.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.