It sure seems like Donald Trump wants to be on the wrong side of history. In a series of tweets this morning, the President of the United States, issued a ban on transgender people serving in the military. The tweets reverse a policy set by President Obama that allowed transgender service members to serve openly.
This fucking guy, I swear to God.
Donald Trump made the announcement just before 6 am.
“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. Miltary. 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. Thank you,” Donald Trump wrote.
In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the Obama Administration’s decision, saying, “Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission.
“We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”
One of Trump’s excuses for the ban — that medical care for transgendered service members is “tremendous” — flies in the face of, you know, actual evidence. While it’s true that the cost of extending gender reassignment benefits to services members would cost between $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, per a RAND Corporation study, that amounts to just 0.004% – 0.017% of the Department of Defense’s total health care spending of $49.3 billion.
Just for comparison, the DoD spent $84.24 million total on erectile dysfunction prescriptions in 2014.
The outrage was swift, from civil rights groups to politicians on both sides of the aisle.
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) July 26, 2017
“Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them,” tweeted Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
This is discriminatory, and un-American. To the transgender servicemembers who defend our nation, I stand with you. https://t.co/CqgWIeClzb
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 26, 2017
“This is discriminatory, and un-American,” said Kamala Harris (D-CA)
— Anne Frank Center (@AnneFrankCenter) July 26, 2017
“Rarely if ever in our nation’s history has a President made a move like this that so drastically reverses the civil rights gains of an oppressed community,” the Anne Frank Center said in a statement.
If you are a trans service member or reservist please contact me. If you know a trans service member or reservist tell them to contact me. https://t.co/3kdzotIUiT
— Joshua Block (@JoshACLU) July 26, 2017
The ACLU is on it.
(Image: Instagram / @realdonaldtrump)