Trump says US military will not ‘allow or accept’ transgender individuals
Donald Trump, who has been no stranger to controversy since obtaining the keys to the White House, has once again sparked a social media firestorm.
This time, the fury comes after the President tweeted a new criterion for applicants to the US military: no transgenders allowed.
As often is the case, Trump took to twitter to reverse a policy put in place by Barack Obama a year ago.
He said that after consulting with his Generals, the army would not “allow or accept” transgender individuals to serve in any capacity due to the “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” they would cause.
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) 26 July 2017
Donald J. Trump on Twitter
“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. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 July 2017
….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 July 2017
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was not able to say if the thousands of enlisted transgender people would be allowed to continue their service.
She said: “That’s something that the department of defense and the White House will have to work [on] together, as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
Former Defence Secretary Ash Carter denounced the President’s position, saying that there were already transgender individuals serving “capably and honorably”.
In a statement, he said: “To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military.”
Ex-soldier Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley, also chimed in on the social media debate, branding the move “cowardice”.
so, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people 😩 but funds the F-35? 😑 sounds like cowardice 😎💕🌈 #WeGotThis— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) 26 July 2017
Many are furious over Trump’s apparent backtrack on his campaign pledge to safeguard LGBT rights in America.
After casting himself as a gay rights candidate, Trump has only managed to further alienate a community he promised to help.
The Trump administration has also rescinded protections for trans students at public schools.
Huckabee Sanders denied that Trump was breaking his campaign promise to protect the LGBT community.
“The president has a lot of support for all Americans and certainly wants to protect all Americans at all times,” she said.
“The president’s expressed concern since this Obama policy came into effect, but he’s also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy and, based on consultation that he’s had with his national security team, came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, and made the decision based on that.”
A 2016 study by the Rand Corporation estimated there are up to 6,630 trans people on active duty and up to 4,160 in the select reserve. There are roughly 1.4 million active-duty US service members.