Reaction on Trump’s transgender ban on the military continues: ‘You deserve better from your country’Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
Reaction continues following President Donald Trump’s tweets this morning unilaterally reinstating a ban on all transgender service members.
Calling the ban horrifying, American Military Partner Association (AMPA) President Ashley Broadway-Mack said, “This is a horrifying, vicious attack on thousands of actively serving troops in the military who happen to be transgender. Transgender service members are risking their lives around the world, and President Trump literally just put a target on their backs, threatening to ruin their careers and kick them out of the military. This is unconscionable, and we are beyond outraged.”
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin called Trump’s actions “heinous and disgusting” issuing the following statement, “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. 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.”
Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality Gina Duncan said, “On Wednesday, President Trump said he would ban transgender people from military service. It is alarming, unacceptable, and dangerous for the President of the United States to openly discriminate against transgender servicemembers stationed around the world who willingly serve their country. By “tweeting” that transgender people will not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the US Military, this President is attacking thousands of brave and honorable transgender servicemembers and veterans and sending a message to all transgender people that they are unfit to serve our country simply because of who they are.
“Furthermore, it is especially heinous that this harmful position is being communicated via a tweet. Currently, there are over 15,000 openly transgender people proudly serving in our military. This morning, those 15,000 patriotic transgender people woke up to learn that their Commander-in-Chief called them a “burden” and a “disruption” via a string of tweets. Countless trans people have bravely fought and died for our country, while Trump received five deferments from the Vietnam war draft. The contrast could not be more striking.
“To transgender servicemembers and veterans, we stand with you. You have demonstrated a greater love, commitment, and sacrifice for this country than our current President ever has. He is wrong, again. We must stand together to prevent the clock from being turned back by ignorance and bigotry.”
SAGE denounced the Trump’s ban with SAGE CEO Michael Adams stating, “The Trump administration’s most recent anti-transgender policy move discounts and disrespects the professionalism of all of our troops, undercuts our national security, and harms our nation. Our military and our country are better than this, and SAGE is telling the Trump Administration loud and clear that transgender people cannot and will not be erased.”
Selisse Berry, founder and chief executive officer of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, issued the following statement: “This is unabashed workplace discrimination. By prohibiting transgender people from serving openly in the military, Trump is not only attacking the LGBT community, but the very values of freedom and justice upon which this country is built. No one should have to choose between serving their country and being their authentic self at work.
“This announcement comes on the heels of rumored plans to undermine LGBT workplace protections more broadly–a move that would be both discriminatory and bad for business. There’s a reason why nearly 96% of Fortune 500 companies have policies protecting their LGBT employees: Not only is it the right thing to do but it’s also just good business. We are all stronger when LGBT employees can be out and equal at work.”
Congressman Joe Kennedy III took to the House Floor to condemn President Trump’s bigoted attack on transgender soldiers. Kennedy currently serves as chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force.
“When our bravest men and women raise their hand and volunteer to defend our nation, they defend all of her people,” Kennedy said. “Rich and poor. Young and old. Democrat and Republican. Gay and straight. Americans of all races, religions, ethnicities, beliefs and gender identities. Our soldiers do not discriminate. They do not offer to pay the ultimate sacrifice for some Americans and not others. Their government owes them that same courtesy – that same decency – in return.
“Instead, our President has told thousands of American soldiers that though they fight for us, we will not fight for them. That their deeply personal medical decisions are public business. That although they are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our freedom, we will not offer them the most basic freedom in return.
“Today the President of our United States looked American soldiers in the eye and dared to question their patriotism – their courage. He doubted their commitment to their brothers and sisters in uniform. He said that our military couldn’t or wouldn’t stand for all of us. To the thousands of brave transgender men and women serving today: please know that this grateful nation does not take your service and your patriotism for granted. You deserve better from your president. You deserve better from your country.”
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