The U.S. Naval Academy will no longer accept trans students beginning in 2020, in keeping with Donald Trump’s newly instated ban on transgender troops.
While those who had previously enrolled will be allowed to remain at the school, 2019 will be the last year that trans students are accepted. Meanwhile, Trump’s ban on trans military personnel went into effect on Friday. According to The Advocate, the policy will result in the discharge of an estimated 13,700 service members, out of around 15,000 serving.
Trans service members were officially allowed to serve openly after the Obama administration lifted restrictions in 2016; gender affirmation surgery was also covered.
Trump, of course, announced in 2017 that he was reversing the policy, tweeting that trans individuals could no longer serve “in any capacity,” citing “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” The actual cost of transgender care has totaled around $8 million, which amounts to less than one percent of the Department of Defense’s $50 billion health care budget.
Though the ban prompted Federal District Court judges in California and Washington state to halt the order, the Supreme Court ruled in January that the ban could temporarily go into effect while “while the case moves forward.”
The ban’s specific terms, per the Capital Gazette, state:
The policy implemented Friday bars transitioning, requires service members to serve in the gender assigned at birth and disqualifies those who have been diagnosed with “gender dysphoria,” a condition the American Psychiatric Association defines as a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which that person identifies.
The policy allows for the dismissal of people who do not comply with the new standards.