Democrats fire back at Trump as transgender troop ban takes effect

President Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era policy allowing the military to retain transgender service members and to provide related medical and psychological care took effect Friday, leading many Democrats — including presidential candidates — to angrily denounce the new policy and the man responsible for it.

Trump surprised the Pentagon by announcing his intention to reverse Obama’s rule in a series of tweets in 2017, leaving Defense Department officials scrambling to implement it.

New York protesters raise their voices in protest against discrimination towards the LGBT community, in the aftermath of the Trump/Pence decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Under the hastily drawn guidelines, soldiers taking hormones or who have undergone gender reassignment will not be allowed to serve in the armed forces. Any troops already serving who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria prior to Friday’s deadline will be obliged to serve in the sex of their birth and will be forbidden from further hormone treatments or from receiving gender reassignment surgery.


After three federal judges issued injunctions blocking implementation of Trump’s new policy, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling issued in January, allowed it to go forward.

Transgender activists took Trump’s decision to issue the new guidelines as a betrayal of promises made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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