After Trump took to Twitter to announce his decision to bar transgender individuals from serving in the military, he and the proposed ban were met with a number of criticisms and studies that negated his arguments of health care costs and readiness.
Despite the wave of criticisms, however, the policy seems to be making its rounds and becoming more than just a series of tweets.
According to the Los Angeles Blade, a new policy has surfaced. Tilted “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out” the policy reportedly encourages early retirement, ushers out enlisted personnel after their contract is up and bars transgender officers from promotion.
This policy has not been made public, but a Los Angeles Blade source said it is on its way, and that “the administration want[s] to get rid of transgender servicemembers as fast as they can.”
The policy does not detail a complete ban, allowing transgender service members currently enlisted to continue their service. However, there are no protections specified against harassment.
This proposed ban has been challenged from a number of sides. Many LGBT groups and organizations have released statements against such a ban, and last week 56 retired generals and admirals came out with a statement condemning Trump’s proposed ban, The Hill reports.
“This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” the officers said.
“As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” the statement continues. “Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving — and who want to serve — must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity."
Trump’s initial claim that transgender healthcare costs in the military are too high and a threat to the readiness of the military have already been disproven by the Rand Corporation study, which estimated that the medical costs for transgender troops would be 0.01 percent of the military’s annual budget.
The Los Angeles Blade confirmed with two White House and Pentagon sources the new policy is on its way to the Secretary of Defense.
OutServe-SLDN, an LGBT legal services and watchdog organization, has announced they will be filing a lawsuit along Lambda Legal to challenge the upcoming policy.
“The President’s order to remove transgender service members from the United States armed forces is nothing less than a purge,” Matthew F. Thorn, Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN said in a statement. “He is implementing this purge based on bigotry, motivated by agents of an ideology that has no concern for the national defense, and in blatant disregard of the experience of career officers who spent more than a year developing and implementing the current policy.”
Thorn continued, “We recognize this purge for what it is — a discriminatory attack on the people who have volunteered their lives for the defense of the country. It is arbitrary and capricious, a callous and questionable exercise of constitutional authority which is beneath the dignity of a Commander-in-Chief.”