Breaking: Condemnation for Trump Banning Transgender Service Members

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.18.57 PMTrump: 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

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.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 8.30.19 AM

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

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

5 thoughts on “Breaking: Condemnation for Trump Banning Transgender Service Members

  1. Melanie,

    Well, it CERTAINLY is surprising, when those of us associated with the military receive changes to official policies in tweets and not through more traditional channels! 😉

    When President Obama and Congress decided to end the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy, I was initially very worried about that – as a gay man in the military, I was concerned about violence and issues of personal privacy. But the Army is “made for the young,” and to their credit, our younger Soldiers are a different generation. Since that time, I have been completely accepted by my friends and company members in the Army, and recently finished serving a Company Command for the second time. DADT came to an end with a lot of nonchalance and mild indifference.

    I can assure you that a lot of effort has also gone into preparing the Command and the troops for a change in the trans-gender policies. I have received briefings both as a Company Commander and with the Judge Advocate’s office. We have materials on websites and our chain of command was doing a fine job of making sure we were out in front on this issue.

    As an Army Legal Assistance attorney, I have also helped at least one trans-gender veteran and military retiree. He worked as a civilian at a post in Alaska and when he went to Thailand and underwent reassignment surgery, his own fellow civilian employees welcomed him at the post. He came to me to help him change his birth certificate, which I was happily able to do. Alaska did not have an official policy to do so, so the Judges simply accepted that they could do it and directed the Bureau of Vital Statistics to change the sex on the birth certificate.

    Many years ago, there were legitimate concerns about trans-gender people in combat: the drugs necessary to maintain a change were devastating to a body and hard to maintain in combat conditions. (I’m a diabetic, and unless I can control my diabetes with diet and exercise, my ability to deploy is effectively destroyed). These days, trans-gender management seems to be doing much better, and I applaud the medical community and I am happy for those who have made a difficult choice.

    As I’ve explained before, there are things that President Trump is doing or has proposed that I can support. This is not one of them. The limited impact on deployment is out-weighed by the important contributions that trans-gender individuals can and do make in all fields of employment in the United States. And the “cost” of surgery or maintenance should not be relevant: the cost of medical care for trans-gender citizens is no different than the care we provide to a pregnant couple. Sure, it’s “a choice” to undergo reassignment surgery – but it’s also a “choice” to bring a child into this world, or even to continue an unwanted pregnancy, if that is not the choice of the couple, and the same public officials who are critical of trans-gender people would be shocked and outraged at “an assault on the family,” if we were to withdraw medical support for pregnancy.


    – Jim Wherry*
    Columbus, Georgia

    * Views expressed do not represent those of the Department of Defense or any component thereof.

  2. And the plot thins. . .

    “Mattis was on vacation when Trump tweeted transgender ban, and he was reportedly ‘appalled’ by it”
    Alex Lockie,Business Insider 4 hours ago .

    It is heartening to see various veterans speak up about this. I could never have imagined this, 10 years ago:

    “Sen. Ernst [R, IA] Joins GOP Chorus Criticizing Trump’s Transgender Military Ban”
    Livewire, By Matt Shuham Published July 26, 2017

    “Sens. McCain and Ernst, both veterans, oppose Trump’s ban on transgender military service”
    By TheNewGhana

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