Mattis claims Joint Chiefs had no input on trans service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: James Mattis. Public domain photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm.

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis continues to defend the transgender military ban, making a dubious claim the military service chiefs had no input when openly transgender service was implemented during the Obama years.

Mattis made the remarks in an interview with Time Magazine on the publication of his book, “Call Sign Chaos” in response to a question about why he agreed to roll back policy allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

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DOD unveils plan to initiate Trump transgender policy on April 12

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With court orders barring President Trump from enforcing his transgender military ban out of the way, the Defense Department late March 12 unveiled its plan to make the policy a reality, announcing it would begin April 12.

15-page memo signed by David Norquirst, who’s performing the duties of deputy secretary of defense, spells out the timeline, procedures and potential exemptions for implementing the plan ordered by Trump and created by former Defense Secretary James Mattis.

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Awkward tension as Pentagon hosts Pride while pushing to ban trans members

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pride is supposed to be a time for celebration, but there was palpable tension Monday at the annual Defense Department Pride event as LGBTQ civilians and members of the armed forces recognized the occasion.

The event — hosted by DOD Pride, an affinity group for LGBTQ Pentagon employees — has been held each year within the Defense Department since 2011 when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal was certified. But the elephant in the room was President Trump’s transgender military ban. It was the first such celebration since Trump announced in July 2017 on Twitter he’d ban transgender service members “in any capacity.”

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Army chief of staff undermines DOD report against transgender service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley. Photo public domain.

The top uniformed official in the U.S. Army on Thursday undermined recommendations from Defense Secretary James Mattis against transgender military service — which led to President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces — by asserting their presence has had no negative impact on unit cohesion

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Air Force lifts penalty on officer who won’t recognize gay airman’s spouse

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Air Force Col. Leland Bohannon won’t recognize his subordinate’s same-sex marriage. Photo public domain.

In a move LGBTQ rights supporters say amounts to allowing discrimination in the U.S. military, the U.S. Air Force has lifted the penalty on an officer who refused to recognize the marriage of a gay subordinate in retirement materials.

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