Fate of transgender already in military unclear under order
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Trump may have left open the possibility of allowing some transgender individuals already in uniform to remain in the military.
Trump has directed the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military. But he has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving.
Trump says until Mattis decides, "no action may be taken against" them.
The Obama administration in June 2016 changed longstanding policy, declaring that troops could serve openly as transgender individuals. And it set a July 2017 deadline for determining whether transgender people could be allowed to enter the military.
Mattis delayed that to Jan. 1, 2018, and Trump has now instructed Mattis to extend it indefinitely.