“Throughout our history, brave LGBT soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines have served and fought for our nation. Their readiness and willingness to serve has made our military stronger and our nation safer.” Defense Secretary Ash Carter, June 2016
The man who never served a day in the military because he was “diagnosed” with bone spurs in his heels…
The man who cowardly called John McCain a “loser” because the Arizona war hero was shot down, captured during the Vietnam War and became a prisoner of war…
The man who during his presidential campaign courted the LGBT community and promised to “fight” for them…
The man who calls himself the most presidential of all presidents, except for Lincoln, rolled out of bed this morning and tweeted “an unequivocal ban on transgender people serving in the military,” citing – among other – the “tremendous medical costs …that transgenders in the military would entail.”
(Note the headline in today’s Washington Post: “The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care.”)
If anyone in the gay community still held out hope that Trump would live up to his pro-LGBT campaign rhetoric (and not-as-anti-LGBT presidency), Trump just eviscerated that.
A Rand Corp. study places the number of transgender troops currently serving in the military as high as 11,000.
At this point, it is informative – to say the least – to see what Senator John McCain — a man who has a “little more” military experience and a lot more character than the sitting president — has to say.
Senator McCain served for 23 years in the United States Navy; was shot down over Vietnam and was captured, imprisoned and brutally tortured by the North Vietnamese for more than five years; was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross; has represented the people of Arizona as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator for 34 years and is now the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
“The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.
“The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.
“The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.
“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.”
Not so fast and furious, Mr. Trump.
Lead image: DOD 2016 LGBT Pride Month Poster
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