Pentagon still awaiting WH direction on transgender policy change

Trump says his administration will block transgender people from serving in the military

That thousands of serving military personnel would be abruptly stripped of their rights for such crass political reasons would be shocking - if Trump had not already drastically devalued the norms for presidential behavior.

"So, to the transgender individuals now serving in the armed forces: thank you".

Dunford's message was seconded later in the day by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' chief spokeswoman.

Trump's stated goal is to prevent disorder among the ranks. "It's unjust and disruptive to strip that away from them now". Please call and encourage our senators and representatives to oppose this change and allow transgender soldiers to serve openly and with dignity.

Military leaders responsibly tried to calm the unnecessary chaos created by the commander in chief.

Under a phased roll-out of a full-inclusion policy, initiated by former US President Barack Obama, there are now more than 2,500 transgender people serving in the US military. In addition to depriving them of the respect they deserve from their government, Trump puts them at risk: To continue serving, transgender personnel will have to hide their identities, which in turn will make them less likely to come forward with health concerns or reports of sexual assault.

While McCain has resisted past attempts at LGBT military integration, he has been clear that he supports the military's working group studies and the process involved in deciding military service rules. This is, therefore, obviously not the "tremendous medical cost" Trump proposes.

But a government report counters those assumptions. It estimated the additional expense for transgender-related health care and readiness at "between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually" - out of a Pentagon budget of more than $500 billion. There were also bills passed to prevent the military from shouldering the costs of hormone therapy and transition surgery of transgender individuals, Catholic Online detailed. This includes more than 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 V.A. Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the US in 134 countries.

Now, the Justice Department has taken this assault on Americans a step farther by claiming in an amicus brief that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn't protect working people from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation.

That includes Erika Stoltz of Sun Prairie, whom State Journal reporter Steven Verburg profiled in Friday's newspaper. The Canadian military's performance in the Balkan peacekeeping missions of the 90s and the decade-long deployment to Afghanistan has since proven the merit of co-ed combat units.

Fascinating fact: Quite a few Republican lawmakers criticized the ban after Trumps' tweets.

"My family has been involved in the military since, oh my gosh, since 1770", Williamson said.

"Banning any qualified person from serving their country because of who they are is both discriminatory and bad national security policy", Gallego wrote. "They're born that way".

"They run their defence forces, we run ours". Many of them were encouraged to begin the process of coming out by the previous administration, and now Trump is firing them. And that is the most important factor by which we should evaluate changes to existing military personnel policy.

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