President Donald Trump Announces Trans Military Ban on Twitter
A little more than a year after the Pentagon lifted a ban against transgender individuals serving in the military, President Donald Trump has announced plans to reverse this policy in a series of tweets.
The 45th president made his declaration on July 26, citing the counsel of his "Generals and military experts" as influences in his decision.
The former Celebrity Apprentice host did not indicate whether trans military personnel who are currently serving would be discharged, as he called such service members a "disruption."
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank youDonald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
According to a 2014 estimate, there are more than 15,000 transgender individuals on active duty or serving in the National Guard of Army Reserve.
While running for office in 2016, Trump claimed he was "a real friend" to the LGBT community. However, it seems at the very least the "T" part of that acronym is in question.
Celebs, activists, and journalists alike flocked to social media to express outrage over the president's declaration.
Every single trans person is braver than Donald TrumpIke Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) July 26, 2017
Donald: With your ban on trans people from the military, you are on notice that you just pissed off the wrong community. You will regret it.George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 26, 2017
As some pointed out the irony of the announcement coinciding with Truman's desegregation of the military, others, including Chelsea Manning, defended trans service members' bravery and honor.
The irony: On the 69th anniv of Pres Truman desegregating the military, "Pres" Trump bans trans people from serving "in any capacity." pic.twitter.com/W8QnhxSrQvCharles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 26, 2017
so, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people but funds the F-35? sounds like cowardice #WeGotThisChelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) July 26, 2017
There are many ways to serve our communities/countries. Trans folk have done vital work, putting bodies on the line unlike @realDonaldTrumpJanet Mock (@janetmock) July 26, 2017
Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose late son Beau served as an officer in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, also made a comment on the change in policy, despite having chosen to stay largely out of any debate concerning the current administration.
Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 26, 2017
Meanwhile, organizations such as the ACLU and Human Rights Campaign have already begun outreach efforts to trans military personnel.
Transgender service members should know the ACLU has your back and we want to hear from you. https://t.co/GpYb3RwP5IACLU National (@ACLU) July 26, 2017
Many supporters of the trans community fear this announcement will result in increased violence and discrimination against trans Americans, whether or not they are currently serving in our military.
It's unclear whether Trump plans to make his Twitter proclamation official with an executive order, but the Pentagon is already deflecting any responsibility for the apparent change in policy.
Pentagon statement on transgender troops policy: All questions referred to WH pic.twitter.com/j6GtldRUlbReid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) July 26, 2017
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