News (USA)

The military will start enforcing transgender troop ban in one month

Donald Trump in front of a burning rainbow flag that's on fire
Photo: Graham Gremore

The transgender military ban will go into effect on April 12, according to a Defense Department memo.

After April 12, people diagnosed with gender dysphoria and who live as their true gender or are on hormone replacement therapy will not be allowed to enlist in the military.

People currently in the military will not be able to start hormones or get gender affirmation surgery after April 12, and transgender people in the military will have to present as their sex assigned at birth.

While just being diagnosed with gender dysphoria will not be enough to be discharged, a transgender person can be discharged if they are “unable or unwilling to adhere to all applicable standards, including the standards associated with his or her biological sex, or seeks transition to another gender.”

Transgender people who have already begun hormones or who have already started a transition by April 12 may continue to do so afterward.

Related: California National Guard will defy Trump’s transgender military ban order

Since Donald Trump tweeted the transgender military ban in July, 2017, the policy has faced four court challenges, each of which resulted in an injunction against the ban.

In January, an appeals court lifted one of the injunctions, and several weeks later the Supreme Court lifted two others. The fourth was removed by a trial court judge last week, citing the Supreme Court decision.

But lawyers in that case say that the fourth injunction isn’t technically lifted yet.

Jennifer Levi at the LGBTQ organization GLAD said that the plaintiffs still have 21 days to ask that a larger panel of judges rehear a determination by the DC Court of Appeals.

“The [D.C. Court of Appeals’ mandate to the lower court to withdraw the preliminary injunction] clearly has not[been] issued so the injunction remains in place,” Levi told Buzzfeed News.

“The injunction does not and cannot dissolve automatically without a court order and, in this case, there is no court order until the mandate issues.”

The Justice Department disagrees, and the Defense Department is moving forward with the ban.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the ban “bigoted” in a statement.

“The President’s revival of his bigoted, disgusting ban on transgender service members is a stunning attack on the patriots who keep us safe and on the most fundamental ideals of our nation,” she said.

“The President’s years-long insistence on his cowardly ban makes clear that prejudice, not patriotism, guides his decisions.”

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