The White House is expected to issue
guidance to the Pentagon on President Donald Trump's ban on
transgender military service as early as Thursday.
According to The Wall Street
Journal, the guidance is being issued in a two-and-a-half page
memo that directs Defense Secretary James Mattis to create a policy
in six months.
In a series of tweets late last month,
Trump declared that the military will no longer “accept or allow”
transgender troops to serve “in any capacity.” The president
said that the ban was needed to avoid “tremendous medical costs and
disruption” posed by transgender people serving in the military.
He later defended his decision, saying
at a press conference that he was doing the military “a great
“I have great respect for the
told reporters. “I think I have great support, or I had great
support from that community, right? Got a lot of votes. But the
transgender, the military's working on it now; they're doing the
work. It's been a very difficult situation, and I think I'm doing a
lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it.”
According to various sources, the White
House wants to block transgender people from enlisting in the
military and stop the military from paying for the transition-related
medical care of active duty transgender service members. The policy
would also spell out under which conditions transgender troops can be
kicked out of the United States Armed Forces.
Two LGBT rights groups, the National
Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and
Defenders (GLAD), have already filed a federal lawsuit challenging
the ban. Two additional groups, OutServe-SLDN and Lambda Legal, have
promised to do the same.