Donald Trump bans transgender individuals from serving in U.S. military

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Thursday

In a revised directive, US President Donald Trump has said transgender troops are a considerable risk to military effectiveness.

President Donald Trump has banned transgender people from the United States military in most circumstances, the latest in a series of actions that may resonate with his most ardent supporters as crucial midterm elections approach.

Citing "substantial medical treatment", the president announced on Friday that he is officially authorizing the Pentagon to disqualify "transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria", with limited exceptions, Fox News reported.

A similar ban, which reversed a policy shift started under his predecessor, President Barack Obama, has previously been blocked by federal judges in four separate cases, and is now being challenged in court.

The Trump administration's late Friday announcement that it would move ahead with a ban on transgender service members in the military-which has previously been rejected as unconstitutional in court rulings-was met with anger and condemnation by LGBTQ rights groups on Saturday.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had revoked his previous policy for the new policy.

According to a Pentagon memo about the policy, exceptions to the ban include people who have been "stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession", servicemembers who "do not require a change of gender" and troops who started serving under the Obama administration's policy prior to the new memo.

"There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops", said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Under guidelines presented in December, the Pentagon could disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, those with a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction. As a result, the transgender people had been allowed to join the military forces with effect from January 1, 2018. "There is no evidence to support a policy that bars from military service patriotic Americans who are medically fit and able to deploy".

Trump announced the ban in July to resolve a quietly brewing fight on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members.

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"This policy was reverse-engineered for the sole objective of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban", the union said.

The memorandum said 8980 service members reportedly identify as transgender, with 937 active duty service members diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" since June 30, 2016.

A Pentagon spokesman said early Friday that the new rules would have no immediate impact on recruiting policies because the military is still required to accept transgender individuals under the current law, the AP reported.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organisation, has denounced Mr Trump's "hastily tweeted troop ban" that has turned into official policy.

It added: "What the White House released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy, for the sole objective of carrying out President Trump's reckless and unconstitutional ban".

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