House Dems urge Trump to reconsider military transgender ban

The Pentagon's Transgender 'Problem'

The statement seemed to defy Trump's Tweet this morning that "talking is not the answer".

It remains to be seen exactly how Mattis will be studying the effects of trans service members out side of reports that have already been done, but he may very well come back to the President by saying the ban will not be beneficial to the military.

The White House had said that transgender people would be allowed to continue serving until Mattis had completed such an analysis.

He said he would advise the president after the panel reports it recommendations, and "in the interim, current policy with respect to now serving members will remain in place".

"Military service is a privilege, not a right", said Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Missouri Republican who lobbied the White House to stop paying for transgender-related medical expenses before Trump announced the ban.

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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.

Trump signed the directive on Friday blocking new transgender recruits from joining the military and preventing the Pentagon from paying for medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals now serving in the military.

Mr. Trump's tweet had complained that the U.S.

The Pentagon does not track how many transgender service members there are in the military, but about 250 service members were either transitioning genders or had changed their genders in personnel records.

The primary concerns of the study will be promoting "military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion", and interim guidance will be released soon, said Mattis, himself a retired U.S Marine Corps combat veteran. In a landmark moment for the LGBTQ community, transgender service members were encouraged to be open about their gender identities while serving, without the fear of discharge.

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Tuesday night, after the Independent went to press, news broke that Secretary of Defense James Mattis had put a "freeze" on the ban, pending a six-month study and input from a panel of experts.

Civil liberties groups have already challenged the president's ban, and are taking the president to court.

While Trump has said that the U.S. won't allow transgender people "to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military", he has maintained a similar divide.

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.

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