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Survey: Fewer than 4 in 10 military members, vets support trans troops

On the heels of a federal appeals court ruling upholding POTUS Donald Trump’s ban on transgenders serving in the military, a new poll has found that the vast majority of servicemembers agree with him.

According to a survey by the Smithsonian, which asked 1,031 military members and veterans, just 37 percent of male members approve of transgender troops, though 62 percent of females approve.

Overall, 32 percent of the World War II generation approve of transgenders, followed by 39 percent of Baby Boomers, 42 percent of Gen X, and 55 percent of Millennials.

The Smithsonian noted further:

The military community was more in step with the administration’s proposed policy, currently being challenged in court, to ban transgender people in the armed services; overall, only 39 percent of respondents said transgender people should be allowed to serve. In particular, though, female and millennial respondents were more in favor of transgender troops than the survey population as a whole, with more than 50 percent expressing support.

Taken together, the findings suggest that military life poses special difficulties for women, despite their eagerness to serve. About two-thirds of current and former female service members said they had experienced sexual discrimination while in the military.

The same proportion said they had experienced sexual harassment or assault. That level of mistreatment is twice as high as other recent studies have reported; perhaps women subjected to such duress were more likely than other women to respond to the survey invitation. As for males, only 6 percent reported experiencing sexual discrimination, harassment or assault.

As reported by The Washington Post, the unsigned order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit lifted a stay on the transgender ban by a lower federal court that the president imposed last year.

The president’s decision was immediately challenged in court, though supporters noted that because President Obama’s Defense Department implemented the policy that transgenders could serve at the former president’s direction, POTUS Trump had the authority to reverse it.

For now, the D.C. Circuit agrees. And most of the military backs the president’s decision.

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