SAN DIEGO (AP) — Active-duty transgender troops say a policy change that puts them at risk of being removed and indefinitely bars transgender people from enlisting in the military is a step backward for civil rights that will promote inequality in the armed forces.

President Donald Trump on Friday directed the Pentagon to extend a ban on transgender individuals joining the military but gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the future of openly transgender people already serving.

This comes only days after Trump praised the military for its tolerance.

Trump says the military shouldn't pay for medical care for transgender troops. He says the process means they cannot be deployed, harming military readiness.

Transgender troops say many health reasons, including pregnancy and knee surgery, can also delay deployments.

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