President Trump announces transgender people will not be allowed to serve ‘in any capacity’ in U.S. military

President Donald Trump (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – During a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces.

Trump said that after consulting with “Generals and military experts,” that the government “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

Trump added 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.”

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban. Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting, but transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.

Indy Pride issued the following statement:

Today President Trump announced that transgender people will be barred from military service due to “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Unfortunately, this was not a data driven decision as two studies in the past several years have indicated that the cost associated with transgender individuals serving in the military would be an increase of .004-.013% of defense spending. Additionally, the RAND Corporation found that less than 0.1% of active duty military personnel would have their duties affected by medical procedures related to being transgender. Transgender individuals do not represent a significant financial burden, but in fact serve at twice the rate of the general population and represent one-fifth of the military.

Trump’s decree targets individuals who are transgender with a rationale not based in fact and in doing so has lost the incredible contributions these Americans could make in active military service. When people are singled out, excluded, or shamed into not being their true selves, we as a society are the ones who suffer because we lose the unique skills and gifts they give us. Our country is not safer by banning transgender individuals from service.