The new policy "effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country, and makes it clear that transgender service members are not welcome", said Joshua Block, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in a memo.
"After comprehensive study and analysis, the Secretary of Defense concluded that new policies should be adopted regarding individuals with gender dysphoria that are consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law", the statement said, according to Fox News.
US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the new policy was "the same cowardly, disgusting ban the president announced last summer". "We are calling this what it is - an attempt to legitimize an unwarranted and unnecessary attack that targets individuals who have volunteered their lives in support of this country", said Matt Thorn, president of OutServe-SLDN.
"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the US government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the USA military", the president said then, though the announcement seemed to catch the Pentagon off guard.
It's Friday, which means President Donald Trump, 71, is yet again dumping some shocking news on Americans just as they settle into their weekends.
Trump's initial memo had to be modified after federal courts ruled against the ban in four separate cases, saying it violated the right to equal protection under the US Constitution. Accordingly, transgender troops now serving may continue to do so, however, the Pentagon has the option to "require them to serve according to the gender at birth".
The only marginally okay thing in this hateful policy is that, at least, now serving members of the military who came out under the previous policy will be protected.
Under the latest guidelines, the Pentagon can disqualify potential recruits unless a medical provider certifies that they have been clinically stable in their preferred sex for 18 months, and are free of significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas.
Mattis' assertion contradicts a 2016 study by the RAND Corp., which found that allowing transgender people to serve in the military would "have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs" for the Pentagon. "It's a gross mischaracterization of transgender people, and it's bad for our. military". Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, has told CNN. They have before. But should that fail (let's not forget, Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced S.1820, a bill "to provide for the retention and service of transgender members of the Armed Forces", back in September of 2017.
"Although the precise number is unknown, the department recognizes that many transgender persons could be disqualified under this policy", it said.
But in the following months, multiple judges blocked Trump's ban as unconstitutional, preventing it from going into effect.
Indeed, Trump's Justice Department vowed after the announcement to continue fighting "to defend DOD's lawful authority to create and implement personnel policies they have determined are necessary to best defend our nation".