Why A Lawyer Filed Suit On Behalf Of Five Transgender Service Members

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According to CNN, the White House official who spoke to reporters about the memo declined to state whether, moving forward, transgender troops now serving would be allowed to stay in the military under the new policy.

In the memorandum, Trump also barred the Department of Defense from providing resources for medical treatment for any transgender individuals now serving in the military by March 23, except to protect the health of someone who has already begun the process.

The official indicated that the administration will be returning to the military's pre-2016 policy which had no place for transgender individuals in the armed forces, but stated that Trump was giving the secretaries of defence and homeland security the chance to determine the policy for transgender troops who are now serving.

The memorandum also put an end to the use of both departments' resources where sex-reassignment surgeries for those already enlisted were concerned.

President Donald Trump officially ordered a ban on transgender troops in the United States military, tasking Defense Secretary James Mattis with implementing a replacement policy.

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In a tweet last month, Mr Trump said the government "will not accept or allow" transgender individuals to serve "in any capacity" in the military.

Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving, and he said that until the Pentagon chief makes that decision, "no action may be taken against" them.

President Trump has ordered the military to stop admitting transgender individuals into the military, sending guidance to the Pentagon on Friday that the White House wants implemented by March of 2018, Fox News has learned.

Earlier this year, in July, Trump tweeted that he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US army.

Mr Mattis had delayed that to January 1 2018, but Mr Trump has now instructed him to extend it indefinitely.

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A White House officials declined to comment Friday during a press briefing on whether transgender individuals now serving would be allowed to stay in their positions.

In response, the administration had drafted a memo formally directing Defense Secretary James Mattis to begin enforcing the transgender ban within six months.

Military leadership later said that they'd been caught off guard by the announcement.

He said he therefore had made a decision to return to the policy that was in place prior to June 2016, when Obama changed it.

A recent Reuters poll found that by a more than 2-1 margin, the American people support allowing transgender persons to serve in the military.

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On August 9, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) contested the ban by jointly filing a federal suit on behalf of five transgender people in the service. "His foolhardy assertion that transgender service members are not able to deploy is simply not rooted in fact". Levi added that this "unprecedented policy amounts to a purge of qualified, contributing troops, and will serve only to undermine unit cohesion and weaken military readiness".

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