President Trump says transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in US Military

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KUSI) — President Donald Trump says he is banning transgender people from serving in the United States military.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, the president said after consulting with generals and military experts he has decided to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military, citing medical costs and disruption as reasons for the implementation.

Trump’s policy, if implemented, would reverse that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who last year announced that transgender people could serve openly.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) filed an amendment Wednesday to the defense appropriations bill that’s intended to block President Donald Trump from barring transgender people from serving in the military. 

"I can’t think of anything more backwards than turning away a brave, qualified American who wants to serve in our all-volunteer military because of their gender identity," Peters said. "There are already thousands of transgender Americans serving honorably and openly in our Armed Forces.

"There is a former member of SEAL Team 6 — the most elite military unit in history — that came out as transgender."

In a Twitter post, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said “any American who wants to serve should be able to do so, regardless of gender identity.”

Rep. Susan Davis expressed her support for the transgender community. 

"Trans Americans have been through so much to make a decision around their gender identity – a decision that most of us can’t even begin to understand," Davis said.  "Trans Americans are courageous, they are brave, they are strong. They are exactly who we want fighting for our country."

Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said Trump reneged on campaign promises to protect the rights of LGBT Americans.

"Barring transgender people from the U.S. military is denying them the right to serve their country, and that is unacceptable and disgraceful,” said Atkins, a lesbian who previously served as Assembly speaker and as a San Diego City Council member.

"Right now, thousands of transgender Americans are serving proudly, courageously and effectively,” Atkins said. “They should be allowed to continue to do so. Excluding talented and able-bodied people who are eager to serve only makes our country weaker.”

Other local leaders declared their support for President Trump and the ban Wednesday. 

"The President’s decision was the absolute right decision," Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) said in a statement. "National security should trump social experimentation, always. It’s about time that a decision is made to restore the warrior culture and allow the U.S. military to get back to business."

Last year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended a ban on transgender service members. More recently, a delay was placed on new enlistments from transgender individuals until a decision could be made by the new administration.

There are no known numbers on how many transgender people serve in the military but a 2016 RAND study estimates there are somewhere between 4 to 11 thousand transgender individuals serving either on active duty or the reserves.

The San Diego LGBT Center in Hillcrest issued a statement that reads: "The notion that thousands of transgender military personnel should be summarily abandoned is hateful, dangerous and unacceptable. These are brave, dedicated people who have devoted themselves to protecting the democratic ideals of this country, often at great risk and at great cost to themselves and their loved ones.”

The LGBT Center said military service members have enough to manage "without the fear of a witch hunt,” and are being threatened on the basis of something that has absolutely no bearing on their fitness to serve.

Categories: Local San Diego News