Trump Turns on Transgenders
July 26, 2017
In a less than transparent effort to steer the focus of the headlines away from his Russian investigation woes, President Trump announced today on twitter that the US Government will no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in the military.
The directive reverses yet another of President Obama's landmark human rights policy initiatives - as directed In June of 2016, "Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly.They can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender."
Obama's directive was announced by Ashton Carter who, as then-Secretary of Defense, oversaw the implementation and enforcement of the law.
By contrast, current Defense Secretary James Mattis has been mute on today's announcement, along with all of Trumps "Generals." According to the Chicago Tribune, sources indicate that Mattis and the Pentagon were taken off-guard by the major policy directive.
In response to yet another of the daily, and sometimes shocking, developments coming out of the White House, public and political leaders, including some of the GOP leadership, condemned the action.
|"Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train and deploy to leave the military, regardless of their gender identity."
-- Decorated War Hero, US Senator & Chair, Senate Committee on Armed Services, John McCain
An estimated 4,000 transgender individuals serve alongside the 1,281,900 people in the US armed forces --which includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
The military defines transgender as: "A Service member who has received a medical diagnosis indicating that gender transition is medically necessary, including any Service member who intends to begin transition, is undergoing transition, or has completed transition and is stable in the preferred gender."
"When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, or anything else. All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve- no matter your gender identity, sexual orientation, or race."
-- Decorated Army Veteran and US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Throughout the presidential campaign Trump repeatedly portrayed himself as a fighter for the LGBTQ community, but has instead pro-actively turned back advances made under the Obama administration.
"Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women..." -- former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen
The most powerful statement, however, came from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, himself a 4-star Navy veteran.
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Sources: NyTimes, Business Insider, Defense.gov, The Washington Examiner, DNC