On July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets that the US military will no longer allow transgender troops to serve in any capacity starting in 2018, reversing the Obama administration’s policy permitting transgender troops to serve openly. Trump’s claim that transgender troops’ service will “burden” and disrupt the military contradicts both common decency and objective truth. A Pentagon-commissioned, non-partisan RAND Corporation study found providing gender confirmation treatment to transgender service people would have a minimal effect on the military’s combat readiness. Further, the report found it would cost between $2 and $8 million to provide gender confirmation services to transgender troops; while this amount sounds significant, $8 million is a mere 0.01% of the $598 billion that the US military spent during fiscal year 2015. For comparison, the military spends ten times this amount annually on erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra.
Late Friday evening, the White House and Pentagon announced that all transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria or who have undergone gender transition will be disqualified from military service. Final details remain unclear, including whether this applies to future enlistments or those currently serving. Previous court injunctions prevented the initial ban from going into effect, but the Department of Justice is prepared to defend the new version in federal court.
The implications of this announcement for the roughly 6,000 transgender troops currently serving are uncertain. However, it is clear that members of Congress must speak out firmly and strongly against this discriminatory policy and the bizarre manner in which it was announced.
- Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
- Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
- Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [ADDRESS].
I’m calling to ask Sen./Rep. [NAME] to denounce the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. These dedicated Americans should have the right to serve their country even if they need special medical care. It is unacceptable for Trump, the Pentagon, and Defense Secretary Mattis to strip them of these rights.
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Thanks to 5Calls for today’s action.