Washington, D.C. -
The White House has reportedly developed a "guidance" policy for moving ahead with President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops.
In a series of tweets late last month, Trump declared that the military will no longer "accept or allow" transgender troops to serve "in any capacity." The president said that the ban was needed to avoid "tremendous medical costs and disruption" posed by transgender people serving in the military.
According to various sources, the administration's plan to implement his proposed ban cleared the White House counsel's office on Friday. It is now expected to be delivered to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
The policy – titled "A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out" – has yet to be made public.
One source familiar with the document told the Washington Blade
that the plan would "encourage early retirement, usher out any enlisted personnel after their contract is up, and would fire trans officers up for promotion."
"The administration wants to get rid of transgender service members as fast as they can," the source said.
(Related: Dozens of retired generals, admirals oppose Trump's ban on transgender troops
Matthew F. Thorn, executive director of OutServe SLDN, a group which supports LGBT service members, said that Trump was conducting a "purge based on bigotry."
"We recognize this purge for what it is – a discriminatory attack on the people who have volunteered their lives for the defense of the country," Thorn said in a statement. "It is arbitrary and capricious, a callous and questionable exercise of constitutional authority which is beneath the dignity of a Commander-in-Chief."
"We condemn the actions of the White House in initiating this purge. We condemn the disregard that the President has shown to transgender men and women who wear the uniform. We condemn the intent of any person who would make it the mission of United States military to discriminate against the very citizens they are charged to defend. And we condemn the indifference of any elected official who does not now stand up for both military personnel and the LGBT community by opposing this purge," he said.
Thorn added that his group would challenge the policy in federal court if implemente