The President announced Wednesday that the United States will no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in the military. In a series of tweets the President revealed that transgenders would be ineligible to serve the US military in ‘any capacity.’
This decision by the president would reverse President’s Obama’s 2016 directive that allowed transgenders to serve and undergo reassignment surgery. In his series of tweets, the president cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption” that the transgender community would bring to the military as contributing factors in his decision.
RAND, a non-profit research organization estimates that up to 10,700 transgender people may already be serving in the U.S. military. The research group found that transition-related treatment would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year if it were to extend its care to transgender personnel.
Just yesterday Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative LGBT group that has been a vocal advocate for gay and transgender civil rights, met with members of Trump’s team at the White House. The Log Cabin group has been a leading voice for the LGBT community in the Trump administration meeting with officials from the Pentagon, Education Department, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the White House.
The Log Cabin Republicans released a statement in opposition of the President’s decision.
“This smacks of politics, pure and simple. The United States military already includes transgender individuals who protect our freedom day in and day out. Excommunicating transgender soldiers only weakens our readiness; it doesn’t strengthen it. The president’s statement this morning does a disservice to transgender military personnel and reintroduces the same hurtful stereotypes conjured when openly gay men and women were barred from service during the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ era. As an organization that led the charge against that hateful policy, Log Cabin Republicans remains equally committed to standing up for transgender military personnel who put their lives on the line to keep us free.”