AMA blasts reasoning for military’s transgender policy

Henrietta Strickland
April 14, 2019

"This is a dark day for our nation's military and the more than 13,000 fearless transgender service members who are putting their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we hold so dear".

Service members diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" after joining the military can stay in the military if they don't require a change of gender and remain deployable.

Service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria, defined as "a marked incongruence between one's experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender. associated with clinically significant distress and impairment of functioning", will no longer be allowed medical surgeries for gender transition unless they are now in the process of receiving medical treatment.

Only trans military employees who have already undergone treatment prior to today can continue to serve as they are, and only if their paperwork was processed in time.

"At this hard moment for transgender service members and those wishing to serve their country, every transgender patriot should know that a grateful nation supports you", said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride.

The Pentagon says the restrictions are not a blanket ban, but they would bar many if not most people who identify as transgender from enlisting, and could also impact now serving personnel.

McGowan said she was "confident" any one of those cases would prevail in knocking down the policy, saying the policy on its face is "discriminatory" and "doesn't even satisfy basic legal scrutiny". "So that has been a source of enormous stress and anxiety". But the final legal injunction was lifted in March, though new legal challenges are expected.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement on Thursday saying that there is no medical reason to exclude trans individuals from service.

It contends it defies science by classifying the need to transition to another gender among "administratively disqualifying conditions" that include those the Pentagon has labeled as a "congenital or developmental defects".

The Pentagon says its use of the word deficiencies refers to failing to meet military standards and does not refer to identifying with another gender.

McAneny said the AMA played a lead role in educating the military and the public that sexual orientation and gender identity are not psychological or medical disorders.

In 2017, Trump tweeted that the military "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity". They were provided a dress code earlier this week.

"There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a service member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender", officials said in a recently released Navy administrative message, according to Military.com which obtained the guidance. "Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in their uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender".

Transgender Chief Petty Office Melody Stachour supports the Navy's policy because he said it allows transgender individuals to be supported as much as possible while being "constrained" by the new policy. "It allows them to retain sailors who are doing an excellent job ... while acknowledging that they are still required to follow the orders given by their seniors".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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