Donald Trump’s disputed transgender troop ban comes into effect

Washington: US President Trump’s controversial ban on transgender Americans in the military comes into force on Friday following a protracted legal battle. Trump’s administration has insisted there is “too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality” to allow transgender people to serve — reversing a policy enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama. The Pentagon says the restrictions are not a blanket ban, but they would bar many if not most people who identify as transgender from enlisting in America’s armed forces.

The policy — which has undergone various iterations since Trump first announced it on Twitter in July 2017 — has been widely criticised by rights activists and has been repeatedly challenged in court. The US Supreme Court ultimately ruled in January the policy could take effect pending the outcome of ongoing litigation. Under the latest version of Trump’s policy, no one who has transitioned to another gender, been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” or who requires hormone treatment will be able to enlist.

But currently enlisted troo­ps who have already tran­si­tioned or have requested ge­n­der reassignment surgery prior to Friday will be allo­w­ed to remain in the military. Meanwhile, President Trump has said he would be open to a third summit meeting with North Koreas Kim Jong-un, suggesting that he was keen to revive a high-stakes engagement abruptly suspended after the two leaders failed to strike a nuclear disarmament deal in Vietnam. The President also opened the door to a series of smaller deals with North Korea, reports The New York Times.

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