Trump Says That Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military
President Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will not “accept or allow” transgender people in the United States military, saying American forces “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory” and could not afford to accommodate them, NY Times writes.
Mr. Trump made the surprise declaration in a series of posts on Twitter, saying he had come to the decision after talking to generals and military experts, whom he did not name.
“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,” Mr. Trump wrote. “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.”
The sweeping policy decision reverses the gradual transformation of the military under President Barack Obama, whose administration announced last year that transgender people could serve openly in the military. Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, also opened all combat roles to women and appointed the first openly gay Army secretary.
In June, the administration delayed a decision on whether to allow transgender recruits to join the military. At the time, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said an extra six months would give military leaders a chance to review its potential impact.
The policy would affect only a small portion of the approximately 1.3 million active-duty members of the military. About 2,450 are transgender, according to a study by the RAND Corporation, though the estimated number of transgender service members has varied.
Mr. Trump’s policy was immediately criticized on Twitter. The American Civil Liberties Union said transgender members of the military deserve better.
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