News (USA)

Trump administration is not done trying to keep transgender people out of the military

Donald Trump James Mattis
President Donald J. Trump departs from the Pentagon alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo: DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

President Donald Trump’s attempts to ban transgender people from the military have failed at every turn, but he isn’t done yet.

The Trump administration will unveil and defend a new anti-trans policy on February 21, reports BuzzFeed News.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis, who is hearing one of the challenges to the ban, backed by the efforts of the ACLU, revealed the administration’s plans in a a brief ruling on when the government was required to turn over information relevant to the case.

Justice Department lawyers told the judge they would not be able to turn over that information, as “they will not be defending the policy now at issue but will be defending the policy to be disclosed on February 21, 2018.”

So far, there is no information on what that policy will entail.

Pentagon spokesperson Maj. David Eastburn said the Pentagon would be preparing “recommendations,” and that the final policy would come from the White House.

“The panel that was established by the Secretary of Defense is presenting their recommendations to him. At the end of this month, The Secretary will make his recommendations to the President, who will then make a decision and establish the new policy on transgender [service] in the military,” he said.

The Trump administration dropped its attempts to prevent trans soldiers from enlisting starting January 1, in keeping with an Obama-era directive.

As the Associated Press noted at the time of that report, “the Pentagon can disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction. But such recruits are allowed in if a medical provider certifies they’ve been clinically stable in the preferred sex for 18 months and are free of significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas.”

The White House did not return BuzzFeed‘s request for comment on the new policy to be unveiled this month, and the DOJ and Department of Defense “did not provide any additional clarification on the plans or timeline for making them public.”

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