President Donald Trump on Wednesday
said that transgender troops will not be allowed to serve in the U.S.
“After consultation with my Generals
and military experts, please be advised that the United States
Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve
in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote in a series of
tweets. “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. Thank
The Department of Defense under
President Barack Obama reversed the Pentagon's previous policy
barring transgender troops. The policy was still under review. Last
month, Defense Secretary James Mattis delayed implementation of a
plan to allow transgender individuals to enlist in the military.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) were among the groups
criticizing the policy change.
“Today Donald Trump has proven
himself as unpatriotic as he is unfit to serve as Commander in Chief.
He has put a target on the backs of the more than 15,000 transgender
troops proudly serving in our military,” said HRC President Chad
Griffin. “This heinous and disgusting action endangers the lives of
American service members, undermines military readiness and makes our
country less safe. It is also the latest effort by Trump and Mike
Pence to undo our progress and drag LGBTQ people back into the closet
by using our lives as political pawns.”
“This is not about cost. This is not
about readiness or a strong military,” the ACLU said in a
statement. “Today’s announcement is about targeting, demonizing,
and endangering a group of people who are risking their lives every
day for our country.”
Earlier this month, Congress
rejected an amendment that sought to ban transition-related health
coverage for transgender servicemembers.