The Human Rights Campaign launched a TV ad Friday trying to pressure the White House into allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.
The ad labels President Donald Trump “impulsive” for his call to ban transgender individuals from serving and quotes military leaders who have said qualified individuals should be allowed to serve.
Last week, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis submitted a memo to the president with a recommendation for how to move forward with transgender troops. Neither the Pentagon nor the White House released the contents of the memo. Trump last summer said he would bar transgender individuals from serving in the military, but three federal court judges have since ruled against a ban, saying the military should be required to accommodate transgender troops and pay for sex-reassignment surgeries.
On Jan. 1, the Pentagon began allowing transgender individuals to enlist. Just one transgender person has made it through medical reviews, completed paperwork, and signed a contract but has not yet gone to basic training, according to the Pentagon.
The Human Rights Campaign also ran a full-page ad in USA Today and more than 32 regional papers arguing a ban on transgender troops “would hurt military readiness.”
But supporters of Trump’s policy argue just the opposite, contending the military should be allowed to deny service to individuals who cope with serious physical and psychological problems because they increase costs and impair combat effectiveness. —K.C.