Trump Reiterates Ban of Transgender People in Military
President Donald Trump made a surprise announcement about his plans to ban transgender people in the US military, sparking outrage and condemnation from the LGBT community and civil rights groups.
President Trump explained that the decision was solely based on the efficacy of military forces.
In his twitter account, Trump said, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Trump added, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Trump’s statement on his new decision was also affirmed by the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who said the new ruling was made based on “what was best for the military.”
Sanders said in a press briefing, “This was about military readiness. This was about unit cohesion. This was about resources within the military, and nothing more.”
The new decision would reverse a policy initially approved by the Obama Administration to allow transgender people to serve in the military.
LGBTs Not Happy
As expected, the LGBT community and civil rights group are not happy with president Trump’s decision, saying transgender people do not cause drawbacks in the military when it comes to medical cost.
The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision “outrageous and desperate.”
“Let us be clear. This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country. The President is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country,” said Joshua Block, the senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
Politicians also slammed the new decision, describing it as an insult among transgender Americans serving in the military.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, the vice chair of the congressional LGBT caucus, called Trump’s decision a “slap in the face to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military” and said it “undermines our military’s readiness.”
Kildee said, “Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe.”
What About the Fate of Transgender Soldiers in the Military?
Donald Trump’s announcement not only drew strong criticisms, it also brought confusion about the fate of thousands of transgender service members as well.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not have a definite answer on what would happen to active transgender military members. However, Sanders informed the public that the White House and the Defense Department would work together “as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
One study says the number of transgender people in the military is between 1,320 and 6,630.