WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Pentagon is officially moving forward with the President’s order to bar most transgender people from serving in the military.
The policy is scheduled to take effect next month.
Pentagon officials say the new policy puts restrictions on transgender servicemembers in the military.
But they won’t call it a ban.
Thomas Crosson, with Defense Public Affairs Operations, says, “This policy focuses on the medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and aspects of the condition may limit a servicemembers ability to deploy.”
Under the policy, men and women must serve in their gender at birth.
And if an active servicemember experiences gender dysphoria, they must continue serving in the gender they were born as.
Supporters say the policy addresses concerns about readiness and meeting military standards.
Crosson says, “We continue to welcome the service of anyone who can meet these standards.”
Opponents say the policy is a slap in the face to transgender people who want to serve.
Veteran Mia Mason served as Micheal Mason before transitioning to a woman.
Under the new policy, she’d likely be discharged.
Mason says, “I took an oath to protect this country. We deserve to fight.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) called the military’s transgender policy discriminatory.
She and other lawmakers pledge to continue the fight to let transgender people serve.
Pelosi says, “No one with the strenghth and bravery to serve in the military should be turned away.”
But other members of congress including Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) support the military’s stance.
Walker says, ” I trust the Pentagon and the people who serve in the Pentagon to make the best decision.”
The policy also allows military leaders to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis.
The ban takes effect on April 12, 2019.
Brie Jackson reports for FOX16’s D.C. Bureau.