The Trump administration's long-feared policy on trans people serving in the military can go into effect.
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will allow the restrictive policy to go forward, USA Todayreports, supplanting lower court decisions that had blocked the policy from being implemented over the past year.
The policy began with a series of tweets in July 2017 in which President Trump proposed a blanket ban on all trans people serving in the military, current or future.
"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised the the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," wrote the president.
The following March, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said that the proposed ban would make exceptions for trans people already serving and trans people who have not transitioned in any way (medically, legally, socially) nor plan to in the future. A federal court of appeals deemed these changes sufficient earlier this month and ruled in favor of what it considered to be a partial ban, noting that the policy would now "permit some transgender individuals to serve in the military." Jennifer Levi, the Director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, told The Washington Post earlier this month that it would be "absurd" to consider this new policy anything other than a ban on trans people serving in the military.
"[The decision is] based on the absurd idea that forcing transgender people to suppress who they are in order to serve is not a ban," said Levi. "It ignores the reality of transgender people's lives, with devastating consequences, and rests on a complete failure to understand who transgender people are."
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