This Tuesday evening, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that despite President Trump’s ordered ban, transgender people will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of study currently being conducted, USA Today reports.
Mattis said that he will advise the President on how to move forward once the study is complete while “in the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
Mattis made news earlier this week when a video emerged of him speaking to troops, saying, “You’re a great example of our country right now,” adding, “Our country, right now, it’s got problems that we don’t have in the military. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it.”
Many interpreted Mattis’ comments to be a rebuke of Trump.
From USA Today:
Mattis’ move buys time for the Pentagon to determine how and if it will allow thousands of transgender troops to continue to serve, whether they will receive medical treatment, or how they will be discharged.
As Defense Secretary, Mattis has emphasized that he has little tolerance for policies that detract from military readiness or the Pentagon’s effectiveness on the battlefield. At the last moment in June, he delayed the Pentagon’s plan to accept new transgender troops. His reasoning: He demanded more study to determine the effect of recruiting them on the Pentagon’s ability to fight and win wars.
As Reuters points out, Trump signed a memo this Friday blocking the U.S. military from accepting transgender men and women as recruits. The memo also blocked the use of government funds for sex-reassignment surgeries for active personnel “unless the process is already under way.”
There was no mention if whether or not transgender troops already serving would be affected.
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