Trump bans transgender people serving in the military

Sydney Dawson, Staff Writer

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One of President Trump’s more notable July tweets announced a transgender ban in the military. He went on to sign a presidential memo ordering that the Pentagon stop paying for gender reassignment surgeries and instructing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to investigate how to handle transgender people currently serving in the military.

(Photo via Global News)

Trump claims the ban is necessary due to the military’s inability to afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” According to Julie Pulley’s September 15 article “Trump’s transgender ban makes military and medical sense,” currently 250 service members are in some stage of gender transition, each of which costs between $124,000 and $140,000. Therefore, the medical costs of these 250 service members alone could exceed $31 million. Although some dispute these figures, Trump stressing the extreme medical expense cannot be considered justifiable.

Despite the arguably high costs, Trump’s ban on transgender servicemen and women is an absurd policy. The military does not have the right to determine a person’s gender identity. Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war, declared, “Any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so.” In fact, there is no absolute evidence that being transgender interferes with one’s ability to fulfill her responsibility. McCain also noted that “less than 1% of Americans are volunteering to join the military.”  With this said, the armed services should welcome all those who want to serve and are qualified. More military personnel are always needed, especially in times like today when conflict and war threaten the country’s and the world’s security.

the US military even considering a transgender ban is just one more sign of a country so divorced from what it is asking of those in uniform.”

— Gayle Lemmon

The ban also creates a more divided country. In “On transgender ban, Trump, listen to your generals,” Gayle Lemmon brings up the fact that “the US military even considering a transgender ban is just one more sign of a country so divorced from what it is asking of those in uniform.” Military leaders should prioritize readiness and developing superior defense strategies, rather than worrying about issues such as kicking out qualified troops. This is not the time for Americans to be at war with one another.

The country is not in a position to pick and choose who will serve in the military. Brave military personnel who happen to be transgender deserve the full support of the United States of America.