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Trump Memo Disqualifies Certain Transgender People From Military Service

"Equality flags" displayed during a Capitol Hill event in Washington, D.C., supporting of transgender members of the military.

Updated at 11:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration announced new rules that would disqualify certain transgender people from military service.

The White House made the announcement late Friday evening:

"Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state 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 disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

A statement issued from the White House said the President rescinded his previous memo on transgender service in the military and allowed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to implement a new policy.

Mattis outlined that policy in a filing Friday in U.S. District Court in Maryland in a motion to dissolve a preliminary injunction blocking Trump's initial order banning transgender service.

"Transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service with three exceptions:

1) those stable in their biological sex for 36 months prior to accession

2) those in service diagnosed with gender dysphoria who do not require a change of gender and remain deployable

3) those in service who received a diagnosis before this policy took effect may continue in service in their preferred gender and receive appropriate medical treatment

"Transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from service.

"Transgender persons without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria may serve in their biological sex."

In a statement, Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said administration's new plan "solves nothing."

"The 'plan' unveiled today is nothing more than a transparent ruse cobbled together with spittle and duct tape designed solely to try to mask discrimination. A plan to implement an unconstitutional decree is an unconstitutional plan.

"In 2016, after careful and deliberate study, the Pentagon determined that the prohibition on open service by transgender people lacked any foundation and lifted the ban. Since then, transgender troops had been serving openly and successfully — until President Trump unleashed his incendiary barrage of uninformed tweets.

"We, along with our sibling organizations, moved quickly to block implementation of the plan, and every single federal court to look at this policy – six to date – has found that it reeks of undisguised and unlawful discrimination against qualified transgender people willing and able to serve our country, and blocked its implementation. That block remains in effect, notwithstanding the release of the plan today."

Renn said that his group and another, Out-Serve-SLDN, will be in court early next week seeking a permanent injunction to block implementation of the plan.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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