White House bans most transgender troops despite widespread censure

March 29, 2018

On March 23, the White House and the Pentagon announced a policy to ban certain transgender people from serving in the U.S. military—a move denounced by 58% of Americans, including 40% of active-duty military personnel and 41% who have served in the past, based on findings of a Harris Poll.

The ban followed a July 26 tweet by President Trump that would have excluded all transgender Americans from serving “In any capacity in the U.S. military”—and was rejected at the time by the Pentagon because the Department of Defense wanted more details and would not react to a Twitter message.

According to a memorandum from the office of President Donald Trump, the restrictive policy states that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are [being] disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”

The move also has been met with disdain and disapproval from LGBT advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers.

In a report by USA Today on March 23, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called Trump a “coward.”

“This latest memorandum is the same cowardly, disgusting ban the president announced last summer,” Pelosi said. “No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the U.S. military should be turned away because of who they are. The president’s hateful ban is purpose-built to humiliate our brave transgender members of the military who serve with honor and dignity.”

In voicing their disagreement last summer, most Americans (59%) said that they believed President Trump announced the ban “mostly to distract from other policies and issues currently being discussed.”

Only 35% of Americans support the ban. The Department of Justice said the decision was made “after comprehensive study and analysis.”

Research contact: Hellonyc@harrisinsights.com

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