SAN DIEGO — A new Trump administration regulation set to go into effect Friday directs military secretaries to kick out transgender service members who refuse to serve in their birth sex after being ‘‘given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies.’’
The American Medical Association said Thursday the policy and its wording mischaracterizes transgender people as having a deficiency and defies science by classifying the need to transition to another gender among ‘‘administratively disqualifying conditions’’ that include those the Pentagon has labeled as a ‘‘congenital or developmental defects.’’
The new regulation strips transgender troops of rights they only recently secured under the Obama administration to serve openly and receive care if they choose to transition to another gender.
The Defense Department said its use of the words ‘‘deficiencies’’ is military lingo for when an individual fails to meet standards to maintain a lethal force. It is not a reference to gender dysphoria, it said.
The department says transgender people can serve if they remain in their biological sex.
Decorated Army helicopter pilot Lindsey Muller was a plaintiff in one of four lawsuits that tried to block the policy from taking effect. But the final legal injunction was lifted in March, though new legal challenges are expected.
Muller said she and other transgender troops feel demoralized.
‘‘Under our ethical standards, we can’t say anything derogatory against the administration, while we are being presented in a disparaging and derogatory light,’’ Muller said. .