Usually, we don’t like anyone Trump has appointed in his cabinet, but Jim Mattis is starting to look good. He just decided to defy the president’s transgender military ban.
Study Says Yes
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that transgender military members will still be allowed to serve. In a statement Tuesday evening Mattis said he would be putting together a panel of experts that serve within the Pentagon and Homeland Security Department. Their task will be to “provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s decision.” Since Trump announced his ban on Twitter, because why should the president go through official channels, the Defense Department has been scrambling to put together a policy that takes into account their desire to allow currently serving transgender soldiers to remain in the military.
Trump has honestly not done any research into this; he just wanted to cut more government funding so he can spend more time golfing in Mar-A-Lago. Last Week Trump signed the directive that bans all transgender from serving, including current members, but Mr. Mattis was given wide discretion on whether those already active can continue to serve. By putting that off on Mattis, it looks like Trump was giving him some leeway.
Mr. Mattis’s statement on Tuesday appeared to open that door further.
“Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of homeland security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction,” Mr. Mattis said in his statement. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.” He said he will issue “interim guidance to the force concerning the president’s direction, including any necessary interim adjustments to procedures, to ensure the continued combat readiness of the force until our final policy on this subject is issued.”
“Implicitly, your ban denies the value of transgender service members, and it questions the professionalism of those who serve beside them. Our Armed Forces have grown more equal and more inclusive over time, often in the face of strident opposition,” the letter said. “In 1948, when President Truman moved to racially integrate the military, voices were raised in protest. They were raised again in 2010, when Congress at last repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ At every turn, those voices have been proven wrong.”
Already military officials have said they cannot turn back the clock on Trump’s ban in fear of lawsuits, but they are already facing them from advocates for transgender rights. More than 140 House Democrats sent a letter to Trump asking him to reconsider the ban and said the military should not discriminate and would lead to a loss of jobs for many active duty members who have served honorably.
Source: NY Times