In an unexpected announcement Wednesday morning Donald Trump declared via his Twitter account that the transgender community will no longer be able to enlist in the American military services. Stating that the United States Government would no longer “allow or accept” transgender individuals, his tweets seem to indicate this new legislation will be taking immediate effect.
The policy is estimated to affect between around 15,500 people according to statistics put together by a UCLA School of Law Survey. There are currently 1.3 million active-duty personnel in the US military and an additional 800,000 in reserves.
These events unfold as Congress is considering a bill to recall the Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for medical treatment related to gender transition.
At the time of writing, CNN are reporting that The Pentagon “didn’t know anything about” the decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the American military. The NBC reported that The Senate Armed Services Committee was not briefed in advance of the White House announcing its new policy on transgender individuals. Several other high-ranking officials have criticized Trump—who is well-known for dodging military service himself. Is he now chastising those who many would consider much braver than himself?
Mr. Trump took to his personal Twitter as apposed to the official @POTUS account to make the declaration and has since been widely criticized by a number of individuals and groups. The American Civil Liberties Union said transgender members of the military deserve better and Ben Cardin, a Democrat senator for Maryland said, “This legalises discrimination…we should be focused instead on winning wars”.
Chelsea Manning—possibly the world’s most well-known transgender soldier, who was released from prison for leaking documents to WikiLeaks—called the move “Cowardice”.
What are your thoughts on Trump’s declaration that transgender Americans will no longer be allowed ro servie in the American Military? Let College News know.