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Trump Says Transgender People Cannot Serve in U.S. Military 'In Any Capacity', Twitter Reacts

( [email protected] ) Jul 26, 2017 09:43 AM EDT
July 26, 2017: President Donald Trump has said transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military, citing "tremendous medical costs" and the "disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to ban transgender individuals from serving "in any capacity" in the US armed forces. AP Photo

Twitter lit up with reactions after President Donald Trump said transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the military, citing "tremendous medical costs" and the "disruption that transgender in the military would entail." 

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump said that after consulting with "my generals and military experts," he decided that "The United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

The President explained that "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," he added.

Trump's announcement was immediately met with outrage on social media.

"It's estimated that more than 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the military," wrote NPR host Sam Sanders. "Is Donald Trump going to personally kick them out?"

LGBT advocate Kaitlyn Alexander added, "Trans people are not burdens. Countless Trans people have given their lives for their country. This is unacceptable." 

Others, however, applauded the move:

"President Trump banning Transgender from the U.S. Military is another example of doing the right thing for America regardless of PC culture!" wrote Minnesota Patriot.

"The U.S. Military decision on transgender people will incite crazy rage today. However, STOP comparing it to real Civil Rights. IT'S NOT," tweeted Pastor Greg Locke.

According to Politico, the announcement represents a reversal of an Obama-era policy established last June by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Carter reversed a longstanding Pentagon policy to allow transgender troops to serve openly and enacted a policy that funds costly transgender health services for members of the military who are medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

However, last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the Pentagon would delay his predecessor's order through the remainder of 2017 in order to review the impact of the shift.

The Williams Institute, a pro-LGBT think tank, estimates that there are currently 7,300 biological males and 1,500 biological females with gender dysphoria serving on active duty in the military.

A recent study from the Family Research Council found that Obama's transgender policy would have cost taxpayers up to $3.7 billion over the next ten years, citing the direct medical costs and the cost of lost deployable time.

The report said: "Family Research Council has concerns about the psychological fitness of persons who identify as transgender to serve (because of high levels of psychopathology within that population), and about the effect of allowing people to present themselves as the opposite of their biological sex on good order and discipline, readiness, recruitment, and retention. However, in addition to these concerns, there are specific costs that will be associated with allowing people who identify as transgender to serve, such as particular medical issues associated with the practices of gender reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy."

The FRC noted that under the military's transgender policy, all eligible service members would have received 100 percent of their "necessary" care-including gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy-at no cost to the service member.

"To put it in perspective, over the next 10 years America would be spending roughly half of our annual ballistic defense budget on elective sexual reassignment surgery!" FRC President Tony Perkins said, according to the Christian Post. "While our troops are literally scavenging museums for jet parts, which would you rather pay for: hundreds of gender transitions or 22 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Planes? Obama's extreme transgender agenda or 3,700 tomahawk missiles?"

Tags : Donald Trump, transgender, Military, transgender military policy