Friday, August 4, 2017

President Trump Announces Plans to Ban Trans People from Serving in the Military // Others React

(Originally written on 07/26/17): President Trump called himself the most LGBT-friendly president ever when he was first elected president. But he didn't prove his friendship very well today when he announced -- via Twitter, no less -- plans to reinstate the ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Apparently, it's too expensive for trans people to serve our country.

There is no plan to actually implement this decision, but this will apparently affect active trans military members, as well as new recruits.
Not everyone agreed with the president.

Republican Joni Ernst (one of my senators from Iowa) issued a statement disagreeing with the president's decision:
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the veteran said Ernst has served with people "from all different backgrounds" and that gender is not a vital indicator of someone's military prowess. "She believes what is most important is making sure servicemembers can meet the physical training standards, and the willingness to defend our freedoms and way of life," the spokeswoman said. "Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity."
I don't often applaud Iowa's junior senator, but I can at least get behind her here.

Even Senator Chuck Grassley -- who I really don't like at all -- came out with a statement against Trump's decision:
“We have certain standards to get in the military: weight standards, education standards, the ability to do a job, those physical capabilities.  And if you're a person - man or woman or any other category you want to name - then you meet those standards, you ought to be able to get in, ” Grassley said.
And then there is Caitlyn Jenner, who has repeatedly thrown her support behind the president and who wants to run for a Senate seat in California. Jenner is upset about Trump's decision and took to social media to make her opinion known:

Ironically, the Senator Jenner (@Caitlyn4Senate) Twitter account came out in full support for President Trump to ban trans people from serving in the military.

Updated on 07/27/17: The Joint Chiefs of Staff have announced that there will be no changes with the inclusion of trans service members in the U.S. military:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday advised that the U.S. military will not make any changes to its transgender policy until President Donald Trump clarifies what he meant in a series of surprise tweets. “I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the president. There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance,” Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a memo to military leaders.
Updated on 08/04/17: Caitlyn Jenner might have been disappointed (again) with President Trump's ongoing dismissal of trans Americans, but that hasn't stopped her from supporting the president's overall agenda.

Jenner was photographer driving around yesterday wearing a "Make America Great Again" Trump hat. Which should give you an idea about how committed that she'll remain as an effective trans activist if/when she ever becomes a U.S. Senator.

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