WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that transgender people will no longer be welcomed to serve in the military.
“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. “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.”
This is a reversal of Obama era policy changes which had begun to allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the military. Previously in the Trump administration, the Defense Department asked for six months to allow military leaders a chance to study the impact of transgenders serving openly in the military.
Democratic politicians have been quick to condemn Trump’s announcement, including a number of Minnesota politicians.
Rep. Betty McCollum wrote on Twitter that the decision was “bigoted, discriminatory, and just plain wrong.”
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) July 26, 2017
“Trans people put their lives at risk every day,” Rep. Keith Ellison wrote on Twitter. “Even more so when they serve. Donald Trump wishes he had their bravery.”
Trans people put their lives at risk every day – even more so when they serve. Donald Trump wishes he had their bravery.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) July 26, 2017
“As the highest ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress, this is completely unacceptable,” gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz said on Twitter. “I am outraged that this President is trying to prevent brave Americans from serving this nation in uniform, esp. when he never did so. Policies driven by hate always fail in the end and this one will be no different.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges even commented on the matter, saying Trump is punishing people “for being who they are” and that this decision has made the United States weaker as a result.
Donald Trump has decided to punish people for being who they are, and in the process he’s made our country weaker. https://t.co/QXBQ7bb8m3
— Betsy Hodges (@MayorHodges) July 26, 2017
“I believe that if you want to serve our country and protect our freedoms, then you should be able to do so without having to hide who you are or who you love,” Sen. Al Franken wrote in a Facebook post. “President Trump called these Americans a burden on and disruption to our military. I disagree. They are heroes.”
The Republican members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation, along with Rep. Rick Nolan and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, have yet to make a statement regarding the president’s announcement.