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

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Defense Secretary stalls Donald Trump's trans military ban for the time being
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31 August, 2017

The question of transgender troops' role in the USA military is on hold until a panel of experts examines the issue, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced this week, and those already in the military will continue to serve in the meantime. The Defense Department has acknowledged "receiv [ing] formal guidance from the White House in reference to transgender personnel serving in the military", according to Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

The memo Trump signed on Friday formally directed the Pentagon to ban transgender individuals from openly serving in the US military and gave the department six months to develop an implementation plan that will go into effect on March 23, 2018.

On Wednesday the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the drill for the launch of the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile was "like a real war" and the first step by North Korea's military for operations in the Pacific and "a meaningful prelude to containing Guam".

In a story August 28 about legal challenges to President Donald Trump's ban on transgender people joining the military, The Associated Press erroneously described the Washington-state based Gender Justice League. The military spent two years carefully reviewing all of the relevant evidence on this issue and concluded that there is no reason to exclude transgender people from military service. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did release a statement yesterday in response to the guidance policy memo delivered to the Department Of Defense last Friday.

Trump's order by tweet on July 26 caught the Pentagon by surprise.

"Trump also directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to determine how to address transgender individuals now serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant", CNN reported citing a White House official.

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The presidential memorandum signed on August 25 by Trump, also bans the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment to transgender individuals now serving in the military.

Additionally on Tuesday, 140 members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to Trump urging him to reconsider his "ill-advised and indefensible" ban.

Three lawsuits have been filed challenging Trump's ban.

According to #USA Today, United States Secretary of State James Mattis said that he would convene a council of experts to study the effects of banning transgenders from serving in the U.S. military, and suggest a way forward on the best course of action for the army's battle effectiveness resulting in victory during a war.

In a statement last week, McCain said it would be "a step in the wrong direction" to force transgender individuals out of the military exclusively on the basis of gender identity.

The military now is the largest employer of transgender Americans with over 12,800 now serving.


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