The Trump administration’s controversial ban on transgender individuals in the military went into effect on Friday. CBS News reports that the regulation prevents transgender troops from serving in the United States military and prevents any use of Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) resources for sex reassignment surgeries. The DoD estimates that almost 15,000 troops identify as transgender.
Now that the new policy is in effect, any individual that has received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and received medical treatment for it — surgery or hormones — will be barred from entering the military. However, individuals that have been diagnosed without yet receiving medical treatment are eligible to join, and transgender individuals currently serving are allowed to remain — regardless of whether they have received treatment.
Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, claims that the move is a step backward, per Global News.
“With the implementation of this transgender military ban, our nation is once again shamefully forcing brave American heroes to hide who they are in order to serve.”
The Supreme Court previously ruled that the military is within its rights to enforce its policy on transgender individuals. The ruling came after Trump called for a ban to prevent the U.S. from carrying the burden of the disruption and medical costs that he suggests transgender individuals create in the military.
Blake Dremann, president of SPART*A, an advocacy group for actively serving transgender military members and the first openly transgender individual promoted in the armed services, claims that the new ban is worse than the previous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy from the Clinton-era.
“Here we have identified an issue that is treatable, does not keep people from deploying or anything from doing their jobs and we’ve told our troops that you have to choose between treatment and your job which, for many folks, their families depend on that. And while they say we can identify as transgender openly, that negates the fact that this still is partially a medical condition that requires treatment.”
Dremann suggests that transgender military personnel are now forced to lead double-lives: one at work and one at home. He added that this dichotomy could negatively impact their role in the military, suggesting that effective military readiness stems from never leaving anything off the field.
LGBT+ groups are currently fighting the ban in courts, which have still not ruled on the prohibition in terms of broader issues, such as legality. But a final judgment will likely take months for the court to process, per Global News.