Memo directs military to ban transgender members in six months

WASHINGTON —  Multiple media outlets have reported that the Trump administration is giving formal authority to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

From the New York Times:

A White House memo that is expected to be sent to the Pentagon in coming days gives Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, six months to enforce the transgender ban that Mr. Trump announced abruptly last month in a series of tweets. The directive was confirmed Wednesday by a person familiar with its contents but who was not authorized to discuss its details and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The authority has not yet been finalized. Once it is approved, it would allow Mr. Mattis to force out transgender service members by setting a legal standard of whether they would be able to deploy to war zones or for other lengthy military missions.

The order would be despite harsh criticism of the ban from across the country and both sides of the political divide.The order would prevent the military from recruiting transgender troops and cutting off payment for sexual reassignment surgery and other medical treatments for those already serving. It would also allow the military to expel those troops already serving.

The ban reverses a year-old policy crafted by the Obama administration that allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military, the Times reported.