President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that the U.S. military with not “will not accept or allow” transgender people “to serve in any capacity.”
“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,” Trump wrote.
The surprise announcement from the president comes in the form of a reversal of former President Obama’s policy, which set July 1, 2017 as the deadline for commencing enlistment for openly transgender service members. Transgender troops already serving in the military have been allowed to serve openly since last year.
Trump’s ban on transgender service members is his latest controversial foray into the culture wars, and will likely be well-received by his far-right base — but is already facing intense blowback from critics.
The reaction on Twitter to the new policy came in the form of an eruption of outrage, paired with an analysis of the president’s motives. Many pointed out that Trump is grossly exaggerating the cost burden of transgender troops on the military, while others noted this appears to be a political move geared at reviving his popularity amongst a base turned off by his attacks on A.G. Jeff Sessions.
Others remarked on the thousands of transgender people already serving in the military, as well as Trump’s own draft-dodging — and a number of Democratic lawmakers joined in the pile-on:
This is discrimination, plain and simple. I stand with the brave transgender Americans who selflessly serve our military. https://t.co/VGck60O9G1
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) July 26, 2017
It is disgusting to see transgender service members insulted and devalued for a hateful political agenda.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) July 26, 2017
Transgender Americans are serving honorably in our military. We stand with these patriots.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 26, 2017
Just spoke to a Trump administration official about the transgender military decision. Here’s what they said… pic.twitter.com/eOWdvlxTfd
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 26, 2017
Transgender Americans now in the military have already displayed more courage than their current commander in chief, who never served.
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) July 26, 2017
To the members of the transgender community: You are not a “burden.” Do not let this president shake you. We support you, we stand with you.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) July 26, 2017
Back when the candidate was trying to drive a wedge between LGBT folks and Muslims https://t.co/vYvGtyufFZ
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 26, 2017
Also, framing transgender ban as a cost issue is absurd. There is so much insane waste at DoD-medical care is a drop in the bucket
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) July 26, 2017
Wasn’t DOD studying this? Trump must sense trouble ahead & rushed to get this out to turn his legal & political failures into a culture war. https://t.co/sMB5EBfnoX
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 26, 2017
Without realizing it (I think?) Trump has just announced and ordered his military to kick out 14-15,000 actively serving troops.
— Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 26, 2017
During the campaign, Trump brought up LGBT people only as a means to an end – to help justify proposals to discriminate against Muslims.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 26, 2017
He’s going to lean in to culture war the more threatened he feels and it will get far far uglier.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) July 26, 2017
Trump’s trans military ban is move to bring base back to him. They were not happy with his treatment of Sessions
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) July 26, 2017
transgender people show more courage when they leave their fucking houses in the morning than donald trump has shown his entire life
— Matt Bellassai (@MattBellassai) July 26, 2017
Spoiled rich kid who made up a fake injury to avoid military service is now banning Purple Heart/Bronze Star recipient from armed forces. https://t.co/q4Smq7Qkdj
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) July 26, 2017
And naturally, many are re-upping this tweet from the president himself, posted just last month:
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
As for the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump — who has often tried to depict herself as a tempering force on her father, as well as a champion of LGBT rights — the latest decree from the president only reinforces common wisdom that she is the least influential adviser in history.
Cue the tweet:
I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 2, 2017
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org