On Friday, President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender Americans from military service was set into motion, with the president’s signature on a new memorandum nullifying a 2016 Obama administration policy change that allowed transgender service members to serve openly.
The memo asserts that the Obama administration had “dismantled the Departments’ established framework by permitting transgender individuals to serve openly in the military, authorizing the use of the Departments’ resources to fund sex-reassignment surgical procedures,” and insinuates that such a change in policy would have likely caused a myriad of “negative effects,” including the disruption of “unit cohesion,” reports Diana Tourjee.
Dr. Maddie Deutsch of the University of California, San Francisco tells Broadly that the disruption of a transgender person’s medical care “can have lasting consequences. To do this to our transgender service members due to political machinations is nothing short of harmful and vindictive.”
The memo also “prohibits the Department of Defense from paying for transition-related treatment for current members of the military, unless the lack of funds threatens the health of an individual who has already begun a course of treatment.”
Defense Secretary Mattis has six months to develop a plan for implementation.