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Trump Announces Ban on Transgender People Serving in the Military

 

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**This breaking news story from NBCnews.com is currently unfolding; check back for updates here.

President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender military service in a series of tweets Wednesday morning.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” Trump wrote in a trio of tweets Wednesday morning.

His announcement came just over one year after former President Barack Obama’s then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender military service.

More on the story from People.com

According to The Washington Post, Trump’s defense secretary, James Mattis, delayed the implementation of the plan to accept transgender troops by six months. The announcement also comes one day before the military’s deadline to update its medical standards to accommodate transgender service members.

On this date in 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed executive order 9981, establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services and leading to the end of segregation in the services.

In June 2016, the Pentagon lifted a ban against transgender men and women serving in the military.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. “We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”

Joshua Block, the ACLU’s senior staff attorney, quickly followed up with tweets asking transgender service members to contact him.

“If you are a trans service member or reservist please contact me,” he wrote. “If you know a trans service member or reservist tell them to contact me.”

 The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, who says their mission is to “work for Anne’s dream of no prejudice,” released a statement and said they are “sickened” by Trump’s announcement.

“This move by President Trump is unconscionable evil,” said executive director Steven Goldstein. “Rarely if ever in our nation’s history has a President made a move like this that so drastically reverses the civil right gains of an oppressed community.”

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