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White House to issue guidance on transgender military ban

The White House is set to issue a guidance on President Donald Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military, including instructions to reject transgender applicants, a media report said.

According to the guidance, the military is to stop admitting transgenders; and for current transgender troops, the Pentagon should consider a service member’s ability to deploy when determining whether to expel them, CNN quoted The Wall Street Journal report as saying on Wednesday night.

The guidance also instructs the Pentagon to stop paying for transgender troops’ medical treatment, informed officials told the Journal.

However, it was not clear if the guidance has been finalised.

In response, the Pentagon said in a statement on Wednesday night that it “has not received formal guidance from the White House as a follow-up to the Commander-in-Chief’s announcement on military service by transgender personnel”.

“The (Defence) Department continues to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes, while ensuring all service members are treated with respect,” the statement added.

The Pentagon said it would provide an update when the formal guidance is announced.

On July 26, Trump in a series of tweets said that he would reinstate a ban on transgender troops, CNN reported.

He announced that transgender individuals would not be eligible to “serve in any capacity in the US Military”.

The American Military Partner Association — a group for families of LGBT service members and veterans — slammed the report of the guidance.

“(Trump’s) foolhardy assertion that transgender service members are not able to deploy is simply not rooted in fact,” the group’s president, Ashley Broadway-Mack, said.

“Transgender service members are just as deployable as any other service member. These brave men and women are already risking their lives for this country around the world. They have earned their right to appropriate medical care, and President Trump’s attempt to rip that away is beyond unconscionable.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi responded to The Wall Street Journal’s report with a tweet on Wednesday night: “This is not how you keep America safe. Period. #ProtectTransTroops.”