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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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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