Trump Abandons Campaign Promise, Tweets That Transgender People Are Banned From ServiceBy Adam Polaski • July 26, 2017 • 11:14 am
Today President Trump declared that transgender Americans would be banned from serving in the U.S. armed forces in any capacity. In a string of morning tweets, Trump characterized transgender service members as a burden and a disruption.
The policy implications of the President’s tweets are unclear, but they come just days after the U.S. House rejected a discriminatory amendment that would strip crucial health coverage from transgender service members. As estimated 15,000 transgender troops currently serve in the military.
Kasey Suffredini, acting CEO and president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, issued the following response:
“President Trump pledged he would be ‘great’ for veterans and for the LGBT community, and today’s tweets accomplish neither. Transgender Americans are called to serve our country for the same reasons as all the other brave people who serve – because they believe in freedom and fairness. It’s stunning to witness the President turn his back on the thousands of service members and veterans who fight just as bravely to protect their fellow Americans but happen to be transgender. We urge the Pentagon to clarify the president’s tweets, and we encourage all our nation’s policymakers to remember that one of our highest duties is to respect and care for all the brave service members who sacrifice so much for our nation.”
The impact of the President’s words this morning go far beyond what can fit in a 140-character tweet.
It’s about real American families who have made the ultimate sacrifice to our country. It’s about transgender veterans like Sherri Swokowski, who served for 34 years in the United States Army and retired as a Colonel, being told that her decades of service was a “disruption.”
It’s about the transgender soldiers who are waking up this morning on the other side of the world – thousands of miles from their home and the people the love – reading a message from their Commander in Chief that their service to our country is a burden.
President Trump insulted thousands of American heroes this morning—and reversed course on an open and inclusive policy long-supported by top leaders across the U.S. military.