A Trump administration regulation set to go into effect Friday bars transgender people from the military unless they “correct those deficiencies,” a description the American Medical Association said Thursday 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.”
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 a reference to gender dysphoria, a condition of extreme distress from not identifying with one’s biological gender, Lt. Col. Carla Gleason said.
The department says transgender people can serve if they remain in their biological sex.
“The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision,” American Medical Association President Dr. Barbara L. McAneny said.
Decorated Army helicopter pilot Lindsey Muller was a plaintiff in one of four lawsuits that tried to block the policy from taking effect. But the final legal injunction was lifted in March, though new legal challenges are expected.