In a stream of tweets, President Donald Trump announced this morning that he has banned transgender people from the US military. Trans folks were allowed to serve openly before Trump’s decision to force currently serving military members out of the armed forces.
Yesterday it was reported that Vice President Mike Pence, long a foe of civil rights for LGBT people, was behind the push to discriminate against transgender people. Unsuccessful so far at getting Trump to issue a “religious freedom” executive order reminiscent of his disastrous broad license to discriminate he pushed through as Indiana governor, Pence turned his attention to lobbying for the ban on transgender people in the military.
After news broke that Pence was behind the push, Stephen Peters, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and a former marine discharged under the previous “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, said “It’s unconscionable that Vice President Pence is pushing for a legislative assault on active duty transgender service members and military families.”
“Instead of undermining the Pentagon and shamefully trying to rip away medically necessary health care from troops who are putting their lives on the line for our nation, Vice President Pence should be working to ensure all service members and their families are getting the support and resources they need and deserve, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Vice President Pence must stop this deeply troubling and patently unpatriotic assault on military families.”
“President Trump has, once again, betrayed the LGBTQ community he claimed to support during his campaign,” Pride At Work Executive Director Jerame Davis said. “Banning transgender Americans from serving their country does nothing to save money or advance military readiness. Make no mistake – this decision is driven by Vice President Mike Pence’s unending crusade against LGBTQ people.”
“Transgender Americans have served our country in silence for decades. Veterans and active service members alike deserve better from their commander in chief.”