“Transgender person who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.”
Will this, and how soon will this, be struck down by the courts?
President Donald Trump on Friday issued orders to ban transgender troops from serving in the military except in select cases — following through on a controversial pledge last year that has been under review by the Pentagon and fought out in the courts.
The memorandum, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, states that while the Secretary of Defense and other executive branch officials will have some latitude in implementing the policy, “persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria – including individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery – are disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.”
In a memo to Trump dated Feb. 22, Secretary of Defense James Mattis — citing a panel of expert’s “professional military judgment” and his own professional judgment — recommended the following three policies which Trump concurred with:
1. “Transgender person with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service, except under the following circumstances: (1) if they have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to our accession; (2) Servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria after entering into service may be retained if they do not require a change of gender and remain deployable with an applicable retention standards; and (3) currently serving service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration’s policy took a fact and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender and receive medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.”
2. “Transgender person who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.”
3. “Transgender person without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, who are otherwise qualified for service, may serve, like all other service members, and their biological sex.”
Last year, defense officials estimated there were about 200 transgender individuals in the U.S. military who had self-reported to their services a desire for some form of medical treatment related to their gender identity.
A 2016 Rand study, which was referenced by former defense secretary Ash Carter, estimated that 2,450 active duty service members might be transgender, with 1,510 in reserve units.