Trump: Transgender People a “Disruption’ to the Military, Are Banned From Service”
Today the U.S. current President, Donald Trump declared that transgender Americans would be banned from serving in the U.S. armed forces in any capacity. In a string of morning tweets, Trump characterized transgender service members as a burden and a disruption.
The policy implications of the President’s tweets are unclear, but they come just days after the U.S. House rejected a discriminatory amendment that would strip crucial health coverage from transgender service members. As estimated 15,000 transgender troops currently serve in the military.
Kasey Suffredini, acting CEO and president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, issued the following response:
“President Trump pledged he would be ‘great’ for veterans and for the LGBT community, and today’s tweets accomplish neither. Transgender Americans are called to serve our country for the same reasons as all the other brave people who serve – because they believe in freedom and fairness. It’s stunning to witness the President turn his back on the thousands of service members and veterans who fight just as bravely to protect their fellow Americans but happen to be transgender. We urge the Pentagon to clarify the president’s tweets, and we encourage all our nation’s policymakers to remember that one of our highest duties is to respect and care for all the brave service members who sacrifice so much for our nation.”
OutServe-SLDN Comments on Trump Tweets Regarding Transgender Service Members:
(WASHINGTON) July 26, 2017 – OutServe-SLDN issued the following statement today, in response to Donald Trump’s tweetstorm on open military service by transgender individuals.
“In his latest example of pseudo-policy-by-twitter, Donald Trump has shown blatant disregard for transgender service members who have been serving openly since October 2016. The disruptive burden to the military comes from indecision in a White House which itself is not focused on victory if it’s targeting service members. The readiness, effectiveness, and lethality of the Armed Services comes from the commitment of our troops – not the vagaries and bigotry of exclusionary policies.
We are committed to transgender service members. We are going to fight for them as hard as they are fighting for the country. And we’re going to start by taking the fight to Donald Trump in the Federal Court”
OutServe-SLDN estimates that there are more than 16,000 transgender individuals currently serving in our armed services. Many of them doing so openly after then-Secretary Carter lifted the ban on open transgender service last year. This proposed push-back has no effect on transgender individuals that are currently serving; however, it does effect increase the burden on military recruitment when there are many transgender individuals standing by, ready to report for duty.
OutServe-SLDN’s legal team will provide any and all advocacy and legal assistance possible to ensure the transgender community is able to openly serve our country in its armed forces. Individuals seeking assistance may contact the legal department directly at 800-538-7418or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah McBride, the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention a year ago to the day, spoke out against the ban and how the discrimination undermines the security of this country, as brave service members have committed their lives to benefit the country. She explained that thousands of lives will be disrupted.
Today she tweeted:
A Man who received 5 deferments from Vietnam threatening the careers of 15,000 trans troops. Reprehensible. Unpatriotic, and dangerous.
McBride, 25, was the first openly transgender White House staffer when she interned in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, offered the following comment in response to President Trump’s tweets about transgender military service.
“The President is creating a worse version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ As we know from the sad history of that discredited policy, discrimination harms military readiness. This is a shocking and ignorant attack on our military and on transgender troops who have been serving honorably and effectively for the past year. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen stated yesterday, their service must be respected. The Rand Corporation has estimated that the cost of medical care for transgender troops is approximately one one-hundredth of one percent of the military annual health care budget, or at most, $8.4 million per year. To claim otherwise is to lie about the data.”
To see examples of transgender veterans who have proudly served in the military, visit http://www.freedomforallamericans.org/on-anniversary-of-open-service-10-transgender-servicemembers-veterans-reflect-on-nations-step-forward/.
NBC New’s Pentagon correspondent Hans Nichols discusses the impact the decision could have on the nearly 250 transgender individuals already serving in the military. Watch. (Oops did I hear him say “transgendered?”).
CNN reports – Transgender people will not be allowed to serve.
By Melanie Nathan