Trump Pushes Pentagon With New Transgender Ban... With a Few Small Changes


A revised version of the blanket transgender military ban issued by the president last summer was released by the White House on Friday which would restore a ban on transgender individuals “except under certain limited circumstances.”

According to CBS News, that ban cannot go into effect immediately because of court challenges to the blanket ban that was announced last summer on Twitter.

The proposed ban was based off of a memorandum prepared by Defense Secretary James Mattis, which was presented to the White House in February but not officially released to the public until Friday.

“Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances,” the White House memo read, according to Fox News.

The Department of Justice later released a statement saying it found the Pentagon’s findings to be consistent with the law and asked the courts to remove the ban.

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“After comprehensive study and analysis, the Secretary of Defense concluded that new policies should be adopted regarding individuals with gender dysphoria that are consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law,” the DOJ statement read.

“The Department of Justice will continue to defend DOD’s lawful authority to create and implement personnel policies they have determined are necessary to best defend our nation.

“Consistent with this new policy, we are asking the courts to lift all related preliminary injunctions in order to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the best fighting force in the world.”

The long-standing ban on transgender individuals serving in the military was reversed by the Obama administration in 2016.

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The memorandum stated that Defense Secretary Mattis, “in the exercise of his independent judgment,” had formulated the new policy which would prohibit most transgender individuals from serving.

That wording was key, in part because the president’s surprise implementation of the ban via Twitter announcement last summer — an announcement that caught the Pentagon off guard — has played a part in many of the court rulings blocking the ban from taking effect.

Just this week, a judge in Seattle denied a motion to remove an injunction prohibiting the ban from going into effect, noting that the president has failed to produce evidence that the decision was made with the “consultation with my generals and military experts,” as he stated in his tweets.

The memo, however, would seem to provide a strong basis for evidence of consultation.

“Based on the work of the Panel and the Department’s best military judgement, the Department of Defense concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender,” the memorandum from Mattis read.

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“Furthermore, the Department also finds that exempting such persons from well-established mental health, physical health, and sex-based standards, which apply to all Service members, including transgender Service members without gender dysphoria, could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden of the military that is mot conductive to military effectiveness and lethality.”

In terms of the “limited exceptions,” the 48-page memorandum states that individuals who “have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession,” have been “diagnosed with gender dysphoria after entering into the service” and “do not require a change of gender and remain deployable within applicable retention standards” or who are “currently serving Service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration’s policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy” that require medical attention may still be retained.

However, individuals who “require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.”

“Transgender persons without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, who are otherwise qualified for service, may service, like all other Service members, in their biological sex.”

Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis which replaced the old diagnosis of gender identity disorder in the DSM-5, the official diagnostic handbook of the American Psychiatric Association, back in 2013. According to the APA’s website, it “involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.

“People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender,” the APA states.

“People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture