Trump’s Transgender Tweets Set off Armed Services Debate
In a series of three tweets this morning, President Donald Trump set off an armed services debate over the acceptance of transgender individuals.
In his tweets, President Trump said the US will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military citing tremendous medical costs and disruptions.
He said the announcement comes after consultation with generals and military experts.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaiʻi, who serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released a statement this morning saying, “Transgender Americans serve our country with honor and distinction. The President’s decision is wrong, and perpetuates bigoted stereotypes about the LGBTQ community.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) also fired back saying, “Less than 1% of Americans volunteer to put their lives on the line to serve in our military and protect the American people. The only qualifications that should matter for those who want to serve is a commitment to uphold the Constitution, defend our country, and be capable and qualified to carry out their duties. This ban dishonors the thousands of transgender Americans who currently serve in the military. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not kicked out of the military. Our country owes a great debt of gratitude to all our servicemembers, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, as they risk their lives to protect our nation,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
In June of 2016, the Rand Corporation issued a report assessing the implications of allowing transgender personnel to serve openly.
The report estimated that there are around 2,450 transgender personnel on active duty (out of a total number of approximately 1.3 million active-component service members), as well as 1,510 in the reserves.