Wednesday, April 17, 2019

California National Guard to defy Trump's transgender military ban

Trump’s policy banning transgender soldiers from joining the military has finally gone into effect, but the California National Guard is pushing back.

Anyone who has already transitioned or is in the process of doing so, will no longer be able to enlist, unless they are willing to serve as their birth gender. Similarly, anyone currently enlisted who is diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the future will only be allowed to serve as their birth gender.

The ban’s implementation would mean the discharge of an estimated 13,700 transgender service members, the largest single layoff of trans people in history. And it would come despite testimony from service chiefs that they had seen no discipline, morale or unit readiness problems with transgender troops serving openly in the military.

But Major General Matthew Beevers, who is one of the highest ranking officers of the California National Guard, has indicated that officials in charge there are interested in pursuing the exceptions and waivers that may be available to continue to allow transgender people to join up. “Anybody who is willing and able to serve state and nation should have the opportunity to serve,” he said.

“We intend to exercise every available avenue inside the policy and out, to ensure transgendered people who want to serve the California National Guard are afforded the opportunity to serve,” he added.

“It’s unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity. That should be the absolute least of our worries,” Beevers concluded.

Major General Beevers

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