Mattis assembling panel to discuss transgender troops


"President Trump's actions immediately caused the individual plaintiffs and other transgender service members to fear for their careers, the well-being of their family members and dependents, their health care and, in some cases, their safety", states an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed Monday in Baltimore federal court.

In a statement, Mattis said he would establish a panel of experts from within the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security to "to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president's direction".

Mattis says in a statement released August 30 that the Pentagon, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, will develop a plan that "will promote military readiness, lethality and unit cohesion". The 2016 study estimated that there were anywhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops already in the active duty force of 1.3 million. Though some stories came out announcing a "freeze" on Trump's ban of transgender people in the military, sadly, that's just not true.

The Obama administration reversed a longstanding ban on individuals who are transgender from serving in the military. A seemingly routine statement from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

For the first time, transgender service members could serve openly, and several thousand people in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard did so. The study will determine transgender troops' "military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law".

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 department will carry out the president's policy direction, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security", Mattis wrote. The cost of inclusion is literally negligible, and there is no evidence that permitting open service will have any negative impact on military readiness.

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund works to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression, and uses direct legal services, test-case litigation, public education and public policy to push the nation toward equality. However, his announcement is more complicated than it may seem, as he has not clarified whether the ban is only temporarily on hold, or permanently finished.

Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both her legs during combat, also criticized Trump's ban on transgender troops.

"Policy changes to open more roles to women and to allow gay and lesbian personnel to serve openly in the USA military have similarly had no significant effect on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness or readiness", Rand said.



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