SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Palm Center today released the below short memo describing the impact and status of the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members. “Breaking Down the March 23, 2018 Transgender Military Ban” outlines what the Pentagon and White House released on Friday; explains the impact of these documents given the status of current litigation blocking any form of a transgender ban; and reports for the first time that the most precise estimate to date of the number of transgender individuals currently serving, based on official DOD data, is 14,700.
On the heels of a joint statement by 26 retired General and Flag Officers opposing the ban, the Palm Center memo also describes DOD’s rationale for its ban—that transgender people are less fit for service than their peers—and explains why it’s unfounded. “The stated rationale for the ban depends on scientific distortions that the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association condemned immediately,” reads the memo. “Echoing the prior ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, transgender troops will be forced to leave the military or to serve in silence, fearing that expressing any form of distress could mark them as unfit.”