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Several states' National Guards are openly defying Pres. Trump's ban on transgender troops

'Anybody who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve.'

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The National Guards of three states will not comply with the Trump administration's ban on transgender troops serving in the armed forces, according to the Washington Examiner.

Officials from California, Nevada, and New Mexico have all publicly stated that they will allow transgender people to enlist and serve in their National Guards, regardless of the president's wishes.

"Every transgendered soldier or airmen currently serving in the California National Guard will remain in our ranks," Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers of California said. "Further, we will not treat any soldier or airmen any differently today, than we did yesterday. Anybody who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve. It's unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity. That should be the absolute least of our worries."

Background

President Donald Trump introduced the ban on transgender troops in a series of tweets in July 2017. After nearly two years of court battles, the administration has been allowed to implement the ban.

There is a grandfather clause to allow service members who came out as transgender after 2016 (when a previous ban was lifted) and before the new ban to continue to serve.

While the military branches will no longer accept new transgender recruits, a Pentagon spokesperson said they will not "hunt down" transgender service members to punish them, according to Buzzfeed.

Why some states are disobeying

Spokespeople for Nevada and New Mexico said that the only criteria they would enforce for their National Guards are fitness and willingness to serve.

"The State of Nevada does not discriminate against anyone, including and especially service members, based on gender identity or expression," Helen Kalla, communications director for Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said, according to The Daily Beast. "Governor Sisolak believes the only criteria to serve in the Nevada National Guard is one's readiness to serve."

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