Trump Announces Ban on Transgender Troops

Following an announcement by President Trump banning transgender soldiers from the military, the world reacts with outrage.

Trump Bans Transgender Soldiers after Claiming to Support LGBT Rights
Trump holds up rainbow flag with "LGBTs for Trump" written on it, then bans transgender troops from serving in the military. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Earlier today President Donald Trump released an announcement via Twitter banning transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military.

The three-part tweet referred to transgender troops as a burden, and cited “tremendous medical costs.”

The full tweet reads: “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. 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. Thank you.”

The announcement comes barely a year after Trump tweeted about protecting LGBT rights while campaigning for President.

Apparently Trump has not only forgotten (or never figured out in the first place) what the “T” in LGBT stands for, but as usual, has failed to disguise his thinly-veiled bigotry.

Trump mentions the “tremendous medical costs” of transgender soldiers, but fails to realize that cost is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the military spends on things like erectile dysfunction medication.

According to a study by the Military Times, the U.S. military spends more than $84 million dollars annually on drugs like Viagra and Cialis. It spends $41.6 million on Viagra alone.

In comparison, according to a Defense Department-commissioned study by Rand Corp., the military spends between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually on gender transition-related medical expenses.

The studies were reported on by The Washington Post.

These numbers reveal a very important truth: The United States military spends at least 10 times more on erectile dysfunction medication than it does on transition-related medication for transgender servicemen.

Outrage from all walks of life soon followed Trump’s announcement. #TransRightsAreHumanRights has been the top trending topic on Twitter for most of the day.

Politicians, including quite a few from Trump’s own party, were quick to criticize the President’s declaration.

In a statement released earlier today, Republican Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was quick to point out that such a decision should be made with Congressional approval.

“The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.”

Many other public figures took to social media to share their outrage over the decision and their support for transgender troops.

The Human Rights Campaign has provided an easy way for Americans to directly contact the White House to share their opinion on today’s announcement.

If you live in the U.S. and want to share your view on Trump’s transgender ban, text “OUR TROOPS” to 30644.

It’s believed by many that Trump chose to share his latest discriminatory proclamation today in an effort to over-shadow more damaging news to come. Politco provided details on a House spending bill that was in danger of failing because of a disagreement over Pentagon-funded sex reassignment surgeries, and how Trump’s announcement could settle the debate on the issue. But it’s still unclear if there will be further news that the White House wants to push out of the news cycle with the President’s announcement today.

This is still a dynamic and developing story. We will keep you updated as further details become available.

July 27 Update: The Trump administration has launched yet another attack on LGBT Rights.


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