‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ends in military ban on transgender troops
In a sign of the change in attitudes toward transgender service members, President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum ending the “don’t ask don’t say” policy, which allowed openly transgender Americans to serve in the military.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said the policy “has been in place for far too long, costing lives and costing our nation far more than it’s worth.”
“Today, it has been ended,” Trump said.
“The policy has been in effect for far enough.
It is now time to bring it to an end.”
The memo ends the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual troops, and allows transgender individuals to serve openly.
It also includes a requirement that transgender individuals undergo gender-reassignment surgery, and gives the military commanders more authority to ban transgender people from joining the armed forces.
“This is the most important decision our military has ever made,” Trump tweeted.
“As you know, I have always believed that our military is an elite fighting force that should reflect the nation.
As such, I signed an Executive Order on January 30, 2017, ending the ‘Don’ and ‘Treat’ orders that prohibited service members from openly serving openly in the armed services.”
“It is now my duty to restore the honor of our military and restore our military families to their rightful place on the battlefield,” Trump continued.
“In the coming days, I will begin a thorough review of the policies and procedures to ensure that the military is serving our nation and protecting the rights of our service members and the families they protect.”
The military’s “don” and “treat” orders, which were instituted by former President Barack Obama, prohibited gay, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Americans from serving openly and forced military personnel to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
While Trump signed the order, some military leaders said it was too late to change the policy.
“I think it was very premature,” Gen. David Goldfein, who commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific, told CNN.
“It was a policy that was imposed on the military and was imposed by former Presidents Obama and Biden and the Bush administration.
And it was imposed with the full knowledge of the President.”
Trump’s order “just didn’t sit well with me,” Goldfeins wife, Brigitte Goldfeintin, told NBC News.
“We have been on the front lines for over a decade fighting this issue.”
Goldfeininger, who served in the Marine Corps from 2012 to 2016, said she did not support the decision.
“Our families were never given the chance to be treated with dignity,” she said.
Goldfeiner and others said the ban is unfair to transgender Americans.
“Transgender Americans should not be subjected to discriminatory and dehumanizing discrimination,” Goldie, the military’s chief spokeswoman, said in a statement.
“Any policy that discriminates against the military will be reviewed by the military to ensure it is in the best interest of our troops and their families.”
The Trump administration said in its statement that the policy was a “mistake” and a “bad decision.”
“The president’s policy of refusing to admit transgender individuals into our military violates the very values our military holds so dear,” said Navy Capt. Lauren Pappas, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon.
“They will no longer be allowed in the Armed Forces.”
Trump also signed a memo to the military in June that allows transgender service personnel to serve “in the manner they have always been allowed to.”
Trump said he wants the Pentagon to consider allowing transgender troops to serve, but only if they meet certain requirements.
“After years of deliberation and consultation with my military, the American people are well aware that the Department of Defense’s policy on transgender service in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard has long been an error,” Trump wrote.
“Therefore, I am pleased that I have finally signed the Memo to the Department to formally end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and allow transgender service men and women to serve honorably and proudly.”
In the past, Trump has said he does not believe that transgender people should be allowed into the military, but he has repeatedly been asked about the issue by Republican senators and congressmen.
Earlier this month, Trump also asked the military leadership to make a decision on allowing transgender people to serve on a list of gender identity-related service members.
“When I see a man in a dress, I don’t know if he’s a woman, he may be a man, but I don`t know if it’s a man or a woman,” Trump told a news conference on the Capitol Hill.
“If it`s a woman that I`m going to get along with, I`ll let them do that.
If it`S a man that I want to get with, then we can discuss it.”