WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon on Wednesday lifted Trump-era policies that largely barred transgender people from serving in the military, setting new rules that give them greater access to medical care and gender reassignment. ,
The department’s new regulations allow transgender people who meet military standards to register, serve openly with their self-determined gender, and be able to receive the necessary transitional medical care permitted by law, say officials who do not wish to remain anonymous. discuss unpublished internal decisions.
The changes come after a two-month review by the Pentagon aimed at developing new policy guidelines, which President Biden announced just days after taking office in January.
Biden’s executive order overturned Trump’s policy, immediately banning any member of the service from leaving the military on the basis of gender identity. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin then gave the Pentagon two months to finalize more detailed regulations on military service.
The new rules also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
Austin also called for a review of the records of members of the service who were fired or refused re-registration due to gender identity issues under the previous policy. The results of that inspection have not been made public.
Until a few years ago, members of the service could be fired from the military for being transgender, but that changed under the Obama administration. In 2016, the Pentagon announced that transgender people who are already serving in the military are allowed to serve openly and will be allowed to enlist until July 2017.
However, after Donald Trump took office, his administration postponed the date of conscription and demanded an additional investigation. A few weeks later, Trump surprised military leaders by tweeting that the government would not accept or allow transgender people to serve in the military “in any capacity.”
After a long “complicated legal battle” and additional reviews, the Ministry of Defense in April 2019 approved a policy that was completely banned, but forbade transgender troops, recruits of the opposite sex, to demand that many people serve in that administration. is called their “birth sex”.
Under the policy, currently serving transgender troops – anyone who signed up for conscription before the date of entry into force – could continue their hormonal treatment or sex plans if they were diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
But after that date, no one with gender dysphoria who was taking hormones or had sex with another was allowed to register. Troops who were already serving և were diagnosed with sexual dysphoria, were required to serve with birth-assigned sex, were prohibited from taking hormones, or underwent transient surgery.
The new policies released on Wednesday are similar to the policies developed in 2016.
As of 2019, an estimated 14,700 active-duty reservists are being identified as transgender, but not all are seeking treatment. Since July 2016, more than 1,500 service members have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria; As of February 1, 2019, there were currently 1,071 people serving. According to the Pentagon, the department spent about $ 8 million on transgender care from 2016 to 2019. The annual budget of the Ministry of Health exceeds $ 50 billion.
All four Chiefs of Staff said in 2018 that they saw no problems with discipline, morale or unit readiness for transgender troops serving openly in the military. But they also admitted that some commanders spent a lot of time with transgender people working on medical issues and other transition issues.