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Trump issues ban on transgender troops from serving except in ‘limited circumstances’

U.S President Donald Trump speaks after signing an Executive Order on "Supporting our Veterans during their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life" on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C.
March 23, 2018

President Donald Trump has issued orders to ban on transgender troops, this time saying most will be not allowed to serve in the U.S. Military except in “limited circumstances.”

A memo was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle late Friday that says “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria – individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery – are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”

President Trump in July had sent three tweets declaring that he was blocking transgender troops from the military, and that they could not serve “in any capacity.”

In the roughly nine months since then, there have been lawsuits that have prevented the President’s directive from being enacted, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was going to review a study and give the President advice as to how to move forward.

The memo filed Friday states that the Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, has decided this policy should be adopted, and the Department of Defense will adopt the policy.

On Jan. 1, the Pentagon began accepting transgender recruits in the U.S. Military after a federal judge ruled that there could be no more delay. This came after the Trump Administration tried to delay the hiring of transgender recruits.

Before the Pentagon began accepting transgender military recruits in the New Year, the White House had asked a federal court to block that measure and delay hiring transgender recruits.

A U.S. District Court judge partially blocked Trump’s transgender troop ban and ruled in late October that there can be no changes to the U.S. Military’s transgender policy while there is pending litigation against the proposed ban that is being reviewed in court. The judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, also denied a motion to block the ban on gender reassignment funds.

More recently, a federal district court judge in Maryland ruled that the U.S. must continue to fund sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender service members in the military, citing that they have “already suffered harmful consequences,” after President Trump called for the transgender ban in the military.

The Trump Administration can’t deny funding for certain medical care for transgender service members, District Judge Marvin Garbis said.

President Trump in August signed a directive that instructed the Pentagon to prohibit transgender people from joining the military, and it gave Mattis the power to remove any transgender service member based on deployability.

The new directive was also to end payments for gender reassignment surgeries for those in the military, as well as other medical treatments for gender transitioning.

On July 26, Trump announced the ban in three tweets that seemingly blindsided officials and outraged many people.

“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,” Trump had tweeted.

“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,” he said.

Mattis reportedly had six months from August – which would put the end date sometime in or around February – to prepare to implement the White House’s directive.

After the President’s directive was released, Mattis in August said that transgender troops will continue to serve in the U.S. military, pending the results of a study from experts Mattis will select who will provide advice on Trump’s recent memorandum.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in August announced it was suing President Trump over his transgender ban for the U.S. military.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.