US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced overnight that trans people will be banned from serving in the military.
The declaration, made via Twitter, reverses an Obama administration decision to allow trans people to openly serve, according to The Washington Post.
“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.”
The announcement follows a delay on the implementation of the Obama administration’s policy, which would have delayed the entry of trans military recruits to the end of this year.
“We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis.
Thousands of trans people are already serving in the US military, with some estimates putting the number as high as 11,000 in the active and reserve military.
Despite Trump’s promise last year to “fight for” the LGBTI community, his administration has rolled back protections for LGBTI people, including for trans children. The White House also drew criticism for failing to recognise Pride Month in June.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
While Trump has cited healthcare costs for trans people as the reason for the ban, the Department of Defense reportedly spends five times this amount on Viagra for the military.
While some people have tweeted their agreement with the ban, high-profile social media users have condemned Trump’s announcement.
“I am sorry your ‘commander in chief’ doesn’t value [your service],” tweeted Laverne Cox.
“Discrimination has no place in our military or society,” wrote Bernie Sanders. “We must stand with trans people.”
To all the trans folks currently serving in the military thank you for your service. I am sorry your "commander in chief" doesn't value it.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 26, 2017
so, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people 😩 but funds the F-35? 😑 sounds like cowardice 😎💕🌈 #WeGotThis
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) July 26, 2017
Mr. Trump, you are on the wrong side of history. Discrimination has no place in our military or society. We must stand with trans people. pic.twitter.com/pG0i5BxtT3
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 26, 2017
To my trans family who are suffering due to this military ban: You will prevail. We've jumped every hurdle till now & will continue. 💪🏽💪🏻💪🏿
— Jinkx Monsoon (@JinkxMonsoon) July 26, 2017