Forty-five senators led by New York
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have come out against President Donald
Trump's ban on transgender troops.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday,
Trump declared that the military will no longer “accept or allow”
transgender troops to serve “in any capacity.”
says military will bar transgender troops.)
The following day, the Pentagon
clarified that the policy on transgender troops had yet to change.
No official change has been made on transgender service.)
“We strongly oppose this policy
change,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense
James Mattis, “and urge you to advise the president against it.”
“This announcement contradicts
existing Defense Department policies, undermines our military
readiness and puts our transgender service members as well as their
commanders in an impossible situation.”
“Forcing these brave Americans out of
our military would be cruel and discriminatory. It would harm our
readiness by denying the military of these service members'
capabilities and requiring the military to replace them at a time
when the recruiting pool for the services continues to shrink,”
“At a minimum,” the Senators added,
the Pentagon should not act until a review on the issue – ordered
last month by Mattis – is complete.
Maine Senator Susan Collins is the only
Republican who signed the letter. Notable Democrats who signed the
letter include Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Bernie Sanders
of Vermont, as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.