Pen­tagon freezes trans ban

The West Australian - - WORLD -

US De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis has an­nounced a freeze on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of President Donald Trump’s ban on trans­gen­der peo­ple serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, say­ing he will es­tab­lish a panel of ex­perts to pro­vide ad­vice on how to carry out the di­rec­tive.

The Pen­tagon has con­firmed the move, say­ing that it would first de­velop a study and im­ple­men­ta­tion plan “as di­rected” by Mr Trump in a mem­o­ran­dum on Fri­day.

New po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees at the De­fence De­part­ment “will play an im­por­tant role in this ef­fort,” the statement said.

The plan will ad­dress both the po­ten­tial for trans­gen­der peo­ple look­ing to serve in the mil­i­tary for the first time, and trans­gen­der troops al­ready serv­ing.

“Our fo­cus must al­ways be on what is best for the mil­i­tary’s com­bat ef­fec­tive­ness lead­ing to vic­tory on the bat­tle­field,” Mr Mat­tis said.

“To that end, I will es­tab­lish a panel of ex­perts serv­ing within the depart­ments of De­fence and Home­land Se­cu­rity to pro­vide ad­vice and rec­om­men­da­tions on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the President’s di­rec­tion.”

The Pen­tagon chief said that af­ter the panel made its rec­om­men­da­tions and he con­sulted with the Sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity, he would pro­vide his ad­vice to Mr Trump. In the mean­time, policy re­gard­ing trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers would re­main in place, Mr Mat­tis said, mean­ing that those serv­ing can con­tinue to do so.

On Fri­day, the White House an­nounced that it was mov­ing for­ward with Mr Trump’s trans­gen­der ban as hur­ri­cane Har­vey roared to­wards Texas.

Mr Trump said in a mem­o­ran­dum he wanted the Pen­tagon “to re­turn to the long­stand­ing policy and prac­tice on mil­i­tary ser­vice by trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als that was in place prior to June last year un­til such time as a suf­fi­cient ba­sis ex­ists” to con­clude that al­low­ing them to serve would not have neg­a­tive ef­fects.

The mem­o­ran­dum gave Mr Mat­tis un­til Fe­bru­ary 1 to present a plan to Mr Trump on how to im­ple­ment the trans­gen­der ban, and what to do with trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers al­ready serv­ing. Those marked some of the first de­tails the White House pro­vided on how to carry out Mr Trump’s de­ci­sion, which ini­tially took many Pen­tagon of­fi­cials by sur­prise when he an­nounced it on Twit­ter on July 26.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­pealed its ban on trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers last year.

Mr Trump’s ban has prompted law­suits that chal­lenge its con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity and re­bukes from Democrats in Congress.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.