WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy this week issued guidance that lets sailors to “live socially” as their preferred gender, according to military news website Military.com.
The guidelines come as the April 12 deadline to enforce the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members approaches.
“There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a service member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender,” officials said in a recently released Navy administrative message. “Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender.”
The guidance does add that deployed sailors may be restricted in off-duty attire choices “to meet local conditions and host-nation agreements with foreign countries” at the discretion of regional commanders and senior officers.
“All service members are expected to continue to treat each other with dignity and respect,” the message adds. “There is zero tolerance for harassment, hazing or bullying of any service member in any form.”
The policy, Military.com reported, does restrict those who have not obtained a waiver by April 12 to serve in their biological gender only, and requires prospective troops with a history of “gender dysphoria” to verify that they have had 36 months of stability in their biological gender and are willing to meet the standards associated with it to enter the military.
Efforts to stop the ban are still ongoing, including lawsuits and a resolution from the U.S. House opposing the ban.