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Trump bans transgender folks from serving in military

Donald Trump announces ban on trans folks in the military.
Photo credit:
nytimes.com/

Despite the progress the government has made in accepting trans men and women in the military, President Trump made an announcement today that they will no longer be allowed to serve.

This morning, in a series of tweets Trump made a statement saying the decision was made after meeting with his military team:

"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.....

....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.  Thank you,"

In July of 2016, then defense secretary Ash Carter announced that the United States military had lifted its ban on trans servicemembers, and those who were serving but keeping their identity hidden were now able to come forward.

“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force,” Carter said a the time. “We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications to prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.”

The department was given one year to determine a plan of action to policy changes and integration of trans service members including their medical benefits. 

However, Defense Secretary to Donald Trump, retired General Jim Mattis, delayed the plan by six months and today's announcement comes the day before the deadline.

Gay rights activist and former Bill Clinton advisor, Richard Soccarides, said Trump’s decision is “a tragic betrayal of all LGBT Americans and a shameful effort to win over social conservatives at the expense the vulnerable.”

“But, what Trump will now learn: don't mess with us,” Soccarides said. “This gets him a fight he will not win.”

Donald Trump has remained relatively quiet on LGBT issues after his election but has made transgender rights one of the focuses of his administration. 

In February he overturned an Obama-era guidance which stated that trans students should be allowed to use the restroom of their choice which prompted trans supporter Caitlyn Jenner to ask that the president "call her." 

During his campaign, Trump often waffled on trans issues saying at one time trans reality star Jenner could use the women's bathroom at Trump Tower. 

See Also: Log Cabin Republicans oppose Trump's military ban on trans folks