WASHINGTON – The White House is preparing to send its new guidance to the Pentagon regarding President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban in a matter of days according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The report cites unnamed US officials who have knowledge of the pending memo, which directs the military to stop admitting transgender people. It also directs the Pentagon to consider a service member’s ability to deploy when deciding whether or not to expel those who are currently serving. According to officials, the memo will also instruct the Pentagon to stop paying for medical treatments involving transgender care. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will have six months to implement the new guidelines.
The Pentagon released a statement on Wednesday that it still had “not received formal guidance from the White House as a follow-up to the President’s announcement on military service by transgender personnel.” President Trump had originally announced the ban in a series of tweets on July 26th, surprising military officials who were unaware of his intentions. A week ago, Mattis had told reporters at the Pentagon that he was still studying the issue and that he was expecting Trump’s new guidance soon. “There’s a host of issues and I’m learning more about this than I ever thought I would, and it’s obviously very complex to include the privacy issues, which we respect,” Mattis said. “I am waiting right now to get the President’s guidance in, and that, I expect, (will) be very soon.” Mattis said.
Recently, five transgender service members filed suit against the current administration regarding the pending ban. It is expected that even with the six-month timeline in place, its actual implementation could be delayed due to the amount of lawsuits the administration would receive regarding the new policy.