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US President Donald Trump’s abrupt Twitter announcement that transgender individuals will no longer be able to serve in their military has received an immediate and emphatic response.

And no, you’re definitely not the only one who sees the measures as needlessly cruel political grandstanding.

To the news that transgender Americans have “burdened” the armed forced service due their “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” former military prisoner Chelsea Manning made the argument that if this is about money (note: it isn’t), then why not focus on the much-maligned and hugely expensive F-35 fighter project?

 

Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who dealt with Manning’s trial, typified the announcement as “cruel” and devoid of factual reasoning.

 

Joshua Block, also of the ACLU, issued a response saying “this has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country.

“The president is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country.”

The Palm Center, a thinktank dedicated to LGBTQIA+ issues within the military, writes “The President is creating a worse version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ 

 

“As we know from the sad history of that discredited policy, discrimination harms military readiness.

 

“This is a shocking and ignorant attack on our military and on transgender troops who have been serving honorably and effectively for the past year.”

Feature pieces focusing on the day-to-day lives of transgendered military personnel are also proudly being recirculated. The message: Trump’s new measures are utterly regressive.

 

Trump’s announcement reportedly took The Pentagon by surprise, so you can expect the backlash to grow even further from here.

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal.
Photo: Pool / Getty.