Trump Bans Transgender People From Military
President Donald Trump has announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military due to medical costs and guidance from his generals. He announced this news through many tweets on Wednesday.
The 140 character limit made Trump announce this news in a series of tweets that said:
“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.”
A few weeks ago, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he would give military chiefs six months to decide whether or not transgender people would be able to serve. Even though the deadline for the review was December 1, 2017, Trump has already made the decision and announced the policy change over Twitter. The review was supposed to determine if allowing transgender people to enlist would affect the “readiness or lethality” of the armed services.
This policy decision posted to Twitter came as a surprise to both the pentagon and many advocacy groups. Under Obama’s leadership, transgender people could serve openly and his Defense Secretary appointed the first gay Army secretary. Considering Obama required the Pentagon to pay for treatment for transgender people, republican representatives have tried to bar spending money on transition surgery ever since.
A study found that the number of transgender people who are in the military is between 1,320 and 6,630 and 30-140 would need new hormone treatments a year. Also, 25-130 new surgeries would be needed a year. The total cost would reach from $2.4 million to $4.8 million which is an “exceedingly small amount of health care expenditures,” as explained by a Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Department of Defense.
Trump’s decision is definitely a setback in the LGBT and transgender community, and is departure from his promises to support both communities during his campaign.