May 21, 2019 12:51 PM
A Trump administration regulation set to go into effect Friday bars transgender people from the military unless they "correct those deficiencies."
The new regulation strips transgender troops of rights they only recently secured under the Obama administration to serve openly and receive care if they choose to transition to another gender.
The Defense Department said its use of the words "deficiencies" is military lingo for when an individual fails to meet standards to maintain a lethal force.
It is not, the department said, a reference to gender dysphoria, a condition of extreme distress from not identifying with one's biological gender.
The department says transgender people can serve if they remain in their biological sex.
However, the American Medical Association said the description is unfair and defies science.
The AMA told The Associated Press on Thursday the policy and its wording mischaracterizes transgender people as having a "deficiency."
It said it also objects to the Defense Department classifying the need to transition to another gender among "administratively disqualifying conditions" that include those the Pentagon has labeled as "congenital or developmental defects."
An estimated 14,700 troops identify as transgender.
Transgender troops say the regulation mirrors the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibited gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces before Congress repealed it in 2010.
The Associated Press
Updated: May 21, 2019 12:51 PM
Created: April 12, 2019 10:59 AM
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