Donald Trump has effectively banned transgender people from serving in the US military, blaming the “medical costs and disruption” they would cause.
The President made the announcement in a series of three tweets, saying: “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 US 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.”
The new policy is a roll back of Obama administration-era rules that loosened restrictions on transgender people to serve in the US military, and comes just weeks after Mr Trump’s Defence secretary said that they were reviewing the issue. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said in June that the Pentagon was giving the military another six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services would impact its “readiness and lethality”.
While the Pentagon did not immediately have a statement or press release available following Mr Trump’s Twitter announcement, the organisation later indicated that it would “work closely” with the White House on the policies in the “near future”. The Pentagon later referred all questions to the White House.