On Wednesday, President Donald Trump suddenly announced that he will ban transgender people from serving in the military. The announcement comes with no prior discussions with military experts.
The Ban Would Supposedly Reduce Costs
President Trump tweeted that there are “tremendous medical costs” with regards to transgender service members and that the military cannot afford them. He also stated that he had spoken with generals and experts on the matter when in fact, neither his Defense Secretary nor the Congressional leaders had been informed of his decision.
While there has been talk about whether taxpayer money should go into hormone therapy and other transitioning services for transgender military members, the matter had not been tackled yet. Still, Trump went ahead and announced the ban with no further detail. Trump aides and representatives of the White House could not answer how exactly the bill is going to be implemented and what is going to happen to openly transgender people already in the military. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated:
That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.
Civil rights movements denounced the policy and the Pentagon expressed dismay that they now could be faced with lawsuits. Moreover, the announcement is a sharp departure from Trump’s campaign which promoted the fact that he was an ally of the LGBTQ community.
The policy could also reverse the changes made during President Obama’s administration, as his cabinet announced that transgender people are allowed to serve in the military. Obama’s Defense Secretary also appointed the first openly gay Army Secretary.
According to a, currently, there are between 2,000 and 11,000 transgender people serving in the military. The study also finds that the costs have minimal impact on the spending and there is no disruption to the unit cohesion.