Is defense secretary bucking Trump on transgender ban? Probably not

Defense Secretary stalls Donald Trump's trans military ban for the time being

As for transgender individuals now serving, an official would not outline the "factors" that Mattis could use to come up with that policy in the next six months, leaving open the possibility that some transgender service members could keep their jobs.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis shared details on Tuesday of how he plans to implement President Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members serving in the us military.

The military now is the largest employer of transgender Americans with over 12,800 now serving.

Once the panel reports its recommendations, Mattis said he will consult with the secretary of homeland security before providing advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction.

While transgender citizens can no longer sign up to join the military, the White House left the decision with Mattis of whether to allow those already serving to continue serving.

The 45th President of the United States gave an order over the weekend to cease military funding for transition-related medical expenses, as well banning any trans people from joining the Forces in the future.

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The defense chiefs also declined to discuss the additional US military support South Korea might need to increase pressure on North Korea.

Mattis' statement clarified a statement made on Tuesday by Trump saying that "all options are on the table" concerning a possible response to latest Pyongyang's missile launch.

"It's not a surprise that there is considerable bipartisan concern about what's going on because the White House admitted that the original tweets were for an invalidly political goal, which is why you had eight senators from the Republican Party speak out", said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, which conducts research on sexual minorities in the military. With Trumps plans to deploy 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, removing transgender soldiers doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially given it's a choice to serve. But Mattis' statement was exactly in line with each step of Trump's directive, which granted the defense secretary time to "determine how to address transgender individuals now serving" in the military.

Trump's ban has been met with ire from transgender advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union, who have stated that the ban is discriminatory.

There are at least three lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the president's ban.

But, as part of that implementation plan, officials need to determine how to address transgender troops now serving in the military.

The Pentagon announcement came several days after Trump issued a formal memorandum on the issue, suggesting that the policy would go into effect on March 23, 2018. Under Carter, the military was given a July 1, 2017 deadline to set an official policy on transgender recruits, and in June, Mattis had asked for a deadline extension to study the matter.


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