President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to effectively ban transgender people from serving in the military, blaming "medical costs and disruption." The policy is a roll back from President Obama's decision to lift a ban that prevented transgender people from openly serving in the military.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Following the lifting of the ban by Obama, transgender service personnel were allowed to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identity in the Pentagon's personnel system. Last year, it was believed that between 2,450 and 15,500 transgender people served in the military. Their fate is now unclear.
President Trump's announcement marks a clear change in stance on LGBTQ rights. As a presidential candidate, he tweeted in June 2016 that he would fight for their rights.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
Unsurprisingly, the decision has been met with outrage on social media.
Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 26, 2017
Nothing like hearing a wealthy civilian w/ zero military experience decide that decorated active soldiers defending our country are burdens.— RAFAEL CASAL (@RafaelCasal) July 26, 2017
Thousands of Trans Americans have BRAVELY served USA. This military ban is shameful & discriminatory. I stand w/the Trans & LGBTQ community.— Gregory Pizarro Jr. (@gregpizarrojr) July 26, 2017
Grateful to Americans, including LGBT, willing to sacrifice & risk their life in military service- more than draft dodger Trump ever did🏳️🌈— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) July 26, 2017
Transgender Americans are serving honorably in our military. We stand with these patriots.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 26, 2017
Donald: With your ban on trans people from the military, you are on notice that you just pissed off the wrong community. You will regret it.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 26, 2017