American transgender troops ban about to be lifted
American president Donald Trump has made it pretty clear that he is not a fan of anybody who identifies as transgender however starting on January first, transgender individuals will be able to enlist into the U.S. military.
The plan to lift the ban on transgender Americans serving in the military was brought into play by the Obama administration, who performed extensive research into the issue, performing a RAND Corp. analysis which found that other countries including Australia,
Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom who currently do allow for trans-gender people to serve did not experience any loss of “operational effectiveness.”
Trump has not been shy when it comes to voicing the fact that he has no desire to allow Americans who identify as transgender to serve.
Twitter seems to be his favorite form of social media communication when it comes to controversial topics of debate, and earlier this year, he did not hold back when he tweeted his opinion on transgender and the military.
With barely any consultation with top military officials, Trump took to Twitter back in July, and tweeted that he had decided he would “not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated at the time, that the move to ban transgender Americans from openly serving in the military was a good one because they “erode military readiness and unit cohesion,” and that the decision was based “on what was best for the military.”
Oddly enough, back during his presidential campaign, Trump stated repeatedly that if elected to the White House, he would fight to protect the rights of Americans who identify as LGBTQ.
Well unless the Supreme Court steps in right quick, starting January first, Trump will have no choice when it comes to who enlists, and what sexual orientation they are.
Lawyers for the Trump administration have repeatedly stated that courts should defer to the president when it comes to anything of a military nature, and it is very likely that they will file an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court.
For the Trump administration to put a stop to the pending change in U.S. policy, they would need to convince five judges of the Supreme Court that allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military would result in “irreparable harm.”
James N. Mattis, America’s Defense Secretary put off the date that transgender Americans could enlist until January first on directive from Trump, undoubtedly to allow time for the president to figure out how he could uphold the current ban, however his efforts are being thwarted by federal judges who continue to block directives that Trump attempts to apply due to the Constitution’s promise of the equal protection of the laws.
There have also been numerous examples of Americans who identify as transgender going to court to fight for their right to serve their country.
“It must be remembered,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said, that the transgender individuals who went to court seek “to serve their nation with honor and dignity, volunteering to face extreme hardships, to endure lengthy deployments and separation from family and friends and to willingly make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives if necessary.”
Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said “we are grateful to the D.C. Court of Appeals for recognizing that our plaintiffs simply want to serve their country. … Experience has shown that allowing qualified transgender candidates to serve strengthens our military and our country.”
Change is coming
The Department of Defense is preparing for the change in policy, and has issued a memo to sector and battalion commanders on “transgender applicant processing.”
“As always, every applicant will be treated with dignity and respect,” it stated.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca