On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court enabled President Trump to put a new policy into action, banning specific transgender individuals from being in the military with a vote of 5-4. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan were not in agreement with the rest of the court.
Before discussing this idea with anyone at the Pentagon, the President introduced this new policy to the public via Twitter in 2017. Since the announcement, there have been a significant number of lawsuits challenging the policy. Specifically, five transgender military individuals sued the president for proposing to ban them from serving.
This policy bans transgender individuals who have previously undergone surgery from serving in the military. It also states that it would make exceptions for the few hundred transgender people who are already serving if they are willing to serve in their biological sex.
As of now, there are approximately 8,980 active transgender troops.
Some people believe that the military requires sacrifice and that if people are volunteering to protect this country there are certain limitations and personal restrictions that come along with that.
This policy reverses the Obama administration's policy, which stated that transgender Americans could serve in the military while also having the ability to obtain funding for surgery to change their sex.
Riley Dosh, a military academy graduate, recently came out as transgender, and did so shortly after learning that the Obama administration would permit transgender individuals to serve openly. After Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling, she will no longer be able to serve her country after spending four years training for the military. Dosh, a West Point graduate, is now unemployed and without health insurance.
The Palm Center recently conducted research and released a statement in August 2017 signed by 56 retired generals stating that the ban of transgender people would deprive the military from benefiting from crucial talent.
This policy would also compromise the honesty of certain individuals who may be forced to live out a lie, subsequently putting their comrades in a difficult situation as well, requiring them to choose between reporting their fellow soldiers or disobeying policy rules.
A large concern of the Trump Administration in allowing transgender people in the military is the potentially sizable medical cost and overall disruption. A large controversy and concern for transgender service members is them having the ability to use military medical services to transition into their desired gender.
Although, with the new policy officially in place, transgender military members are now forbidden from serving unless they do so as their biological sex.