Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is banning transgender people from serving in the military “in any capacity.”
Trump made the announcement on Twitter:
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Trump’s decision is a reversal of President Obama’s move to allow trans people to serve openly in the military. It also brings a planned Defense Department delay of that policy to an apparent halt. The Pentagon allegedly had no idea the announcement was coming.
Studies have shown that the cost of letting trans people serve openly in the military would be extremely minimal. There are thousands of trans people estimated to already be serving in the military.
The move is yet another refutation of Trump’s repeated pledges during his election campaign that he would support LGBTQ rights.
Since taking office, he has stripped protections from trans children in schools, and his administration has openly courted anti-LGBTQ extremists.
An administration official told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan that the ban was designed with electoral gain in mind:
Trump’s announcement came on the 69th anniversary of President Truman’s order to desegregate the military.