President Donald Trump has finally signed a memorandum ordering the military never to recruit transgender individuals, a ban which was lifted under Barack Obama. This new step is coming a month after he tweets his intentions not allow transgenders serve in the U.S military, as the memo also halts the use of government funds for sex-reassignment surgery for active personnel.
The White House official who briefed the press reportedly said:
‘The President is the President for all Americans, and during last year’s campaign he was the first GOP nominee to talk about LGBTQ issues at the GOP convention, but he also was critical of the Obama administration’s change in that longstanding DOD policy.
He’s going to continue to ensure that the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as all Americans, is protected. This policy is based on a series of national security considerations.’
However, Mr Trump left Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to decide whether to retain existing transgender recruits. The ban, justified on grounds of cost and disruption, faces a legal challenge by transgender rights activists.
“This policy is a shameful slap in the face to people who put their lives on the line everyday to defend our country…” said Jennifer Levi, an official at Glad (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders), in a statement.