On Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, Trump announced via Twitter that “The United State Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Trump’s reason for the ban is about the medical cost transgenders in the military entail. In his tweet, he states “Our military … cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.
Trump did not include any factual numbers or sources to show the impairment transgender medical costs have on the military. RAND Corporation published a detailed report on the impact of the transgendered community in the US military.
In the RAND Corporation report, the transgendered population is estimated to be around 0.3 percent of the U.S military. From the 0.3 percent, around 29-129 gender related care are performed per year. As well, 30 – 140 get hormone therapy, and 25-130 surgical treatments are implemented. Read more
RAND estimated that it will cost the Military Health System 8.4 million to cover the transgendered medical treatments.
Currently, there are 18 countries where transgenders legally serve in the military. These 18 countries are
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- the United Kingdom.
On the other hand, the Rand Report, none of the countries that permit transgender serving in the military have reported a negative effect of the military’s overall efficiency and operations.
In addition, the previous government under Obama had authorized the involvement of transgenders in the military and were finalizing the policy. However, in the last month, the ratification of the policy was delayed enabling Trump to rescind Obama’s initial policy.
During his campaign, Trump promised to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. Although the right for LGBTQ population is maintained in workplaces, his administration is saturated with anti-LGBTQ congressmen and officials. This ban contradicts Trump’s prior promise of protecting sexual minorities.
When asked about the plans of active transgender servers, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press Secretary, answered in vague terms, saying “the department of defense and the white house will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
Furthermore, on the subject of Donald Trump going back on his word in helping and protecting the rights of the transgender population, Sanders stated “The president has a lot of support for all American and certainly wants to protect all Americans at all times. The president has expressed concerns since this Obama policy … he’s also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy … and came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion and made the decision based on that.”
Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, disagreed with Trump’s tweet. He says, “There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train and deploy to leave the military regardless of their Gender identity”.
Joe Murray, a constitutional lawyer and a gay man who is a member of the Christian right tweeted his support saying “a tough decision but the right decision”.
Senator Hatch also commented on the situation issuing a statement that reads “I don’t we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the president tweeted today.”
Also, Joni Ernst spokesperson made a statement on her behalf saying “she believes what is most important is making sure service members can meet the physical training standards, and willingness to defend our freedoms and way of life.”
Furthermore, many politicians either feel that Trump’s ban is calculated and correct, or trivial to the performance in the military.
Trump’s policy seems to be a step in the wrong direction for the LGBTQ community. In addition, the dangers for the protection of sexual minorities would increase if this policy is passed. As well, Trump will be excluding a community of individuals from showing patriarchy due to their gender identity. Therefore, he inevitably increases discrimination for the LGBT community.
As a result, the future of LGBT people is threatening, as this ban indirectly excludes the trans community on a national level.