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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Trump admin comes out against amendment protecting trans troops

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The Trump administration has come out against an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that would undermine President Trump ban on transgender people in the U.S. armed forces.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson told the Washington Blade the administration opposes the amendment, which may be considered on the U.S. Senate floor this week as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.

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Court asked for ‘immediate intervention’ to block trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT legal groups are seeking “immediate intervention” from a federal court to block President Trump’s ban on transgender military service as litigation moves forward.

In a 51-page legal brief, lawyers from GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights seek a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban, which Trump directed late last week.

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Trump invokes Chelsea Manning to justify Arpaio pardon

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Amid criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over his pardon of Joe Arpaio, President Trump on Monday invoked his predecessor’s clemency for Chelsea Manning to justify the decision.

Trump made the comparison at the White House during a joint news conference with Finland President Sauli Niinistö in response to a question about the criticism from Fox News’ John Roberts — deriding her as a “criminal leaker.”

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White House gives Pentagon six months to create new trans military ban policy

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: A U.S. Army sergeant flies the American flag from the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The pilots and crew chiefs fly American flags to present with certificates to service members as part of aviation tradition. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Lewis)

White House guidance on the transgender military service ban President Trump ordered via tweet July 26 is headed to the Pentagon, as soon as Thursday afternoon or possibly Friday morning, a senior White House source told the Los Angeles Blade.

The Guidance has been boiled down to a 2½-page memo that directs Defense Sec. Mattis to come up with a policy in six months, stop spending money on transgender-related medical treatment for active duty trans servicemembers and gauges fitness for service based on “deployability”—whether the trans individual can ably serve in a war zone and engage in military exercises or function a ship for months, officials told the Wall Street Journal.

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Trump on trans ban: ‘I’m doing the military a great favor’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump said Thursday he’s “doing the military a great favor” by seeking to ban on transgender people from the armed forces, insisting he has “great support” from the LGBT community.

Trump made the remarks during an exchange with reporters at the Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey, where the president is staying during August vacation as the situation over North Korea’s improved nuclear weapons capabilities continues to escalate.

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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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Rick Perry: ‘I totally support’ Trump’s transgender military ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Energy Secretary Rick Perry took time Friday during his visit to an air conditioning manufacturer in Texas to declare support for President Trump’s ban on transgender military service.

Perry told reporters he backs the policy change after his visit to the Daikin Texas Technology Park in Waller, Texas, basing his reasoning on the cost of transition-related care, according to the Texas Tribune.

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Trump awards Medal of Valor to lesbian officer Crystal Griner

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The day after he sought to curtail LGBT participation in the nation’s armed forces by announcing a ban on transgender military service, President Trump awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to a lesbian police officer credited with saving lives during a mass shooting.

Trump gave the Medal of Valor on Thursday to Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner — as well as Special Agent David Bailey — for thwarting shooter James T. Hodgkinson during an incident at a Republican congressional baseball practice last month. Hodgkinson wounded five people, including House Majority Steve Scalise (R-La.).

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Advocates protest transgender military ban outside White House

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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More than 100 people gathered outside the White House on Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.

Several trans servicemembers spoke alongside American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack and Diego Sánchez, a trans man who is PFLAG’s director of advocacy, policy and partnerships. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a trans woman who is one of former President Obama’s LGBT liaisons, is among those who attended the protest.

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McCain sour over Trump’s declaration of trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that he intends to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.

McCain, who recently returned to the Senate after being diagnosed with brain cancer, said Trump’s series of tweets declaring the change are “yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.”

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