Mattis Puts Freeze on Transgender Military Ban Pending Independent Recommendation

| August 30, 2017

Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced that implementation of President Trump’s ban on transgender women and men serving in the military is on hold pending recommendations from a panel of experts.

“Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction,” Mattis said in a statement late Tuesday. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”

“Our focus must always be on what is best for the military’s combat effectiveness leading to victory on the battlefield,” he added.

Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois recently tweeted:
“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve—no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military and it is counterproductive to our national security. If the President enacts this ban, which would harm our military readiness, the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who oppose this discrimination must pass legislation that prevents it from taking effect.”

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