U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made his recommendations to the White House on transgender individuals serving in the military, the Pentagon said on Friday, after President Donald Trump’s call last year for a ban on such service

Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendations had been made earlier on Friday and the White House would make any policy decisions.

The Pentagon did not give details on the recommendations, but the top U.S. general has said transgender troops should not be removed from the military.

Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, last year said that he has urged the Trump administration not to kick transgender service members out of the military.

In September, the Pentagon said it had created a panel of senior officials to study how to implement a directive by Trump to prohibit transgender individuals from serving.

In a move that appealed to his hard-line conservative supporters, Trump announced in July that he would prohibit transgender people from serving in the military, reversing former President Barack Obama’s policy of accepting them. Trump said on Twitter at the time that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to fight for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. His tweet drew condemnation from rights groups and some lawmakers in both parties as politically motivated discrimination.

Critics of Trump’s ban pointed to a Rand Corporation study that estimated annual transgender healthcare accounted for only $2.4 million to $8.4 million of the more than $50 billion in Defense Department healthcare spending.

But it was also praised by conservative activists and some of his fellow Republicans.

A number of federal judges - in Baltimore, Washington, Seattle and Riverside, California - issued rulings blocking Trump’s ban. The judges said the ban would likely violate the right under the U.S. Constitution to equal protection under the law.

Late last year transgender people were allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military, after the Trump administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban.

Military officials do not know how many transgender people have begun to enlist since Jan. 1, when the Defense Department began accepting openly transgender recruits. But advocates said they believe dozens, if not hundreds, of transgender people will seek to join an estimated 4,000 already serving.

 

Today, a group was calling for action over Celine Walker, a transgender woman murdered earlier this month. Dozens came together outside the Capitol Sunday in support of 36-year old Celine Walker. 

Walker was shot in a Jacksonville hotel room on February 4th. Her friends say they know it was a hate crime.The national center for transgender equality states, she is the fourth known transgender homicide victim reported in the U.S. this year.

Dr. Petra Doan, an FSU Professor, says,"Trans people are not just murdered randomly, we're murdered 99 times out of 100 because someone figured out that we were trans and was upset about it."

 When the Jacksonville Sheriffs office reported the incident, they got Walker's name and gender wrong. She was listed with her birth name and gender, a way she chose not to identify herself. A week passed before walker's friends even knew what happened.

The Tallahassee transgender community says, Walker is one of many hate crime victims. Not only is the group mourning at Sunday's vigil, they're also fighting for change. Currently, Florida's hate crime reporting act doesn't include gender identity and physical disability. Walker was not recognized as transgender in her death report and the Tallahassee transgender community wants to change that.

Lakey Love, Equality Florida Transaction Training Coordinator, says, "We want to support the disability rights act. People have put together a legislation to include gender and gender identity and physical disabilities in the state hate crimes reporting act. " National statistics document at least 28 hate crime-related deaths toward transgender people nationwide in 2017, making it the highest on record. The group attending Walker's vigil wants to protect the transgender community from future hate crimes with the new bill.

 

A Hamilton County, Ohio, judge on Friday gave custody of a transgender teen to his grandparents rather than his parents, allowing them to make medical decisions regarding his transition.

The parents didn't want the teen, a 17-year-old who identifies as male, to undergo hormone treatment and refused to call him by his chosen name, triggering suicidal feelings, according to court testimony. The parents wanted custody in order to make medical decisions for the teen and prohibit thetreatment that his medical team had recommended.
Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon had instructed that the family's names not be released.
 
Hendon's ruling says that in addition to receiving custody, the grandparents can petition to change the child's name in probate court. The teen will now be covered by the grandparents' insurance.
 
The grandparents, rather than parents, will be the ones to help make medical decisions for the child going forward. But before any hormone treatment is allowed, the court ordered, the teen should be evaluated by a psychologist who is not affiliated with the current facility where he is receiving treatment, on "the issue of consistency in the child's gender presentation, and feelings of non-conformity."
 
A team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where the teen has been treated since 2016, advised the court that he should start treatment as soon as possible to decrease his suicide risk.
 
The parents' attorney had argued that the child was not "even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time." A county prosecuting attorney argued that the parents wanted to stop the treatment because it violated their religious beliefs.
 
In the custody decision, Hendon said the parents will have visitation rights and are "encouraged to work toward a reintegration of the child into the extended family."
She also encouraged Ohio lawmakers to create legislation giving judges a framework in which they can evaluate a patient's right to gender therapy.
 
"What is clear from the testimony presented in this case and the increasing worldwide interest in transgender care is that there is certainly a reasonable expectation that circumstances similar to the one at bar are likely to repeat themselves," she wrote. "That type of legislation would give a voice and a pathway to youth similarly situated as (the teen) without attributing fault to the parents and involving them in protracted litigation which can and does destroy a family unit."
 

A transgender woman has become the first in the world to breastfeed her baby without giving birth or having gender reassignment surgery.

The unidentified 30-year-old “hoped to take on the role of being the primary food source for her infant,” after her pregnant partner said she didn’t want to breastfeed, according to the case study published in the journal, Transgender Health.

The couple worked with Dr. Tamar Reisman and Zil Goldstein, a nurse practitioner, at the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in NYC.

Reisman and Goldstein developed a regimen which included 10 milligrams of domperidone three times a day. Domperidone has been illegal in the US since 2004 when the US Food and Drug Administration issued a health warning on the drug. The dosages were reportedly obtained from Canada.

In addition to the domperidone, the patient took micronized progesterone and estradiol, while also using a breast pump for five minutes on each breast three times a day.

The treatment, which allowed the patient to develop breasts that appeared fully grown, lasted for three and a half months. After the child was born, the patient could produce 227 grams of milk a day and sufficiently breastfed for six weeks.

The baby’s pediatrician said it was healthy and developing normally, according to the case study.

“This is a very big deal,” Joshua Safer, of Boston Medical Center who was not involved with the treatment, told New Scientist. “Many transgender women are looking to have as many of the experiences of non-transgender women as they can, so I can see this will be extremely popular.”

Reisman and Goldstein acknowledged that more research is needed in order to develop a program that doesn’t require the import of domperidone.

FILED UNDER       

Confirming suspicions that it was not pursuing discrimination complaints, administration accused of refusing to "recognize the basic human and civil rights of transgender students."

 

Trump's Education Department said it will not it will not investigate or act on complaints from transgender students who charge they were barred from using a bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The Department clarified the position to BuzzFeed News, which first reported it Monday.

"Once again, Secretary DeVos proves she is not interested in protecting transgender students and instead is choosing to advance the dangerous Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ agenda."
—Sarah Warbelow, HRC.

Last February, the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era guidance that instructed schools to allow transgender students access to bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, and in June the department indicated it may dismiss some cases related to trans students' bathroom access.Last February, the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era guidance that instructed schools to allow transgender students access to bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, and in June the department indicated it may dismiss some cases related to trans students' bathroom access.

Attempting to clarify the department's position, education department spokesperson Liz Hill told BuzzFeed Thursday, "yes, that's what the law says" when asked again if the department believes that transgender students are not covered by Title IX, a federal anti-discrimination law.

Hill added Friday, "Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity."

According to Hill, "long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX."

That stance is in direct opposition to what two federal appeals courts found.

"While civil rights advocates have suspected that the Department of Education was not acting on complaints brought forward by transgender students, reports that these violations are completely being ignored are reprehensible," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director at advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

"The department's failure to act conflicts with the law in multiple jurisdictions, including federal circuits, and further emboldens those who seek to discriminate against transgender students. Once again, Secretary [Betsy] DeVos proves she is not interested in protecting transgender students and instead is choosing to advance the dangerous Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ agenda," she said.

The new report comes a week after the parents of over 700 transgender students across the country wrote (pdf) to DeVos to express their "outrage and deep concern over the repeated injustices committed by the Trump-Pence Administration's Department of Education against transgender students."

"For those transgender youth who spend entire school days without access to a restroom, often foregoing food and water in order to avoid the need for using one, equal access to education is an impossibility. We urge and implore you to see the urgency of these concerns," they concluded, "and to recognize the basic human and civil rights of transgender students."

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