AMA: Trans military ban ‘mischaracterized and rejected’ medical research

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The nation’s association for physicians had stern words Wednesday for Defense Secretary James Mattis over his recommendation to President Trump against transgender military service, saying his findings “mischaracterized and rejected” medical research.

In a letter dated April 3 and made public by Politico, James Madara, executive vice president of the American Medical Association, said Mattis distorted medical research in his determination transgender people are ineligible to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

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Joint chiefs not briefed before Trump went public with trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. Photo public domain.

The joint military service chiefs were not briefed on the recommendations by Defense Secretary James Mattis against the transgender military ban or the Trump memo seeking to implement them before the White House went public with them last Friday, according to two sources familiar with the process.

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DOD appears to contradict White House on process for trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Defense Department spokesperson appeared Thursday to contradict the White House on the process for drafting the transgender military policy, asserting it was “a coordinated effort” with the White House and Justice Department as opposed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and his working group alone within the Pentagon.

Dana White, a Pentagon spokesperson, made the comments Thursday during a Pentagon news briefing in response to a question on timing for the release of the policy late Friday night and whether Mattis was “proud” of his recommendation against transgender military service.

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Who’s to blame for trans military ban: Mattis or Pence?

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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When President Trump reaffirmed his ban on transgender military service last Friday, the memo was backed up by a report from Defense Secretary James Mattis in which he asserted that a nine-month review of the issue revealed “substantial risks” in allowing transgender people in the U.S. military. But was it really his doing, or that of Vice President Mike Pence, who has a virulent anti-LGBT record?

Upon the release of the memo, many were surprised Mattis — who’s seen as one of the more mature voices in the Trump administration — was found to have signed his name to a document against transgender military service. After all, media reports from the time the memo was delivered in February indicated Mattis would advise Trump to allow transgender people to keep serving.

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Trump issues (moot) memo affirming ban on transgender military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Consistent with expectations for timing for the new policy, ban on transgender military service issued a memo late Friday on transgender military service that — while moot thanks to court orders against banning transgender troops — nonetheless reaffirms policy against their service.

In the memo dated March 23, Trump defers on the transgender military issue to Defense Secretary James Mattis and based on his recommendation asserts transgender people shouldn’t be allowed to serve “except under certain limited circumstances.”

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Defying court, DOJ won’t name experts Trump ‘consulted’ on trans ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Despite a court order requiring the U.S. government to disclose the names of military experts President Trump consulted before announcing his transgender military ban, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday it would keep that information to itself.

In a five-page filing before U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Washington State, the U.S. Justice Department asserts executive privilege in keeping that information confidential — even though Pechman had determined that information isn’t subject to that protection — and insists information already given to the court is sufficient.

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In first, U.S. military has accepted openly transgender recruit

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a first, an openly transgender person has signed a contract to join the U.S. military — a development that could occur thanks to federal court rulings against President Trump’s transgender military ban.

Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesperson, confirmed to the Washington Blade on Tuesday an openly transgender person has signed a contract to join the armed forces, which is part of the process for enlistment.

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Trump admin not done fighting transgender military enlistments

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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No fewer than three courts have ruled against President Trump’s transgender military ban, but the Trump administration isn’t done fighting potential transgender enlistments, which are set to take place Jan. 1 as the result of the rulings.

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department filed a request before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay on a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis against the transgender ban. The request is limited to the order requiring the U.S. military to allow qualified transgender people to enlist starting Jan. 1.

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Mattis: Trans troops can re-enlist in armed forces — for now

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Faced with President Trump’s task of implementing a ban on their service, Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo allowing transgender troops currently in the military to re-enlist — at least during the six-month period when Pentagon studies the issue.

The interim guidance, obtained Friday by the Washington Blade and other media outlets, lays out the implementation plan for Trump’s directive last month to ban transgender military service.

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McCain co-sponsors new bill against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is among the bipartisan co-sponsors of a bill for transgender military service. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A new standalone bill that seeks to undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service has key support from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who years ago was a chief opponent of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

In a statement upon the bill’s introduction, McCain declared his support for transgender military service and said he awaits feedback on the issue from Defense Secretary James Mattis, who set forth a plan for a study on transgender service after Trump’s order.

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House Dems: Trump’s trans military ban ‘unconstitutional on its face’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A group of 53 House Democrats led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is warning the Pentagon that following through with policy to implement President Trump’s transgender military ban would be “unconstitutional on its face.”

In a letter dated Aug. 4, Democrats on the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees say prohibiting transgender people in the U.S. armed forces — “in any capacity” as Trump declared — won’t hold up under scrutiny before the courts.

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