No Transgender People in Military, Says Trump

President Donald Trump further confirmed his anti-LGBT stance on Wednesday morning when he stated in a series of tweets that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the United States military.

A RAND study conducted in 2016 estimated that there are anywhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people actively serving.

According to the report, “the military provided a midrange estimate of around 2,450 transgender personnel in the active component (out of a total number of approximately 1.3 million active-component service members) and 1,510 in the Selected Reserve.”

“Only a subset will seek gender transitionrelated treatment,” the report adds. “Estimates derived from survey data and private health insurance claims data indicate that, each year, between 29 and 129 service members in the active component will seek transition-related care that could disrupt their ability to deploy.”

Costs for transition-related health care would be minuscule within the active component’s health-care budget, totaling “between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures.” Even when estimating on the higher end, it would only be about 0.1 percent.

To put it into perspective, CNN noted that the Department of Defense’s health care expenditures in 2014 were $49.3 billion a far cry from even higher estimates for transgender service members:

And USA Today reported in 2015 that the Department of Defense spent about $84 million on Viagra and erectile dysfunction medication in 2014.

Responses flew in just after the tweets broke.

Former Vice President Joe Biden weighed in:

The Hill reported Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter as saying the ban “has no place in our military.”

“To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military,” Carter reportedly said. “There are already transgender individuals are are serving capably and honorably. This action would also send the wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service.”

The Obama administration last year set a policy that would have allowed transgender people to serve openly. The policy was set to take effect on July 1. The Trump administration delayed it, however.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), released a series of tweets:

Congressman Ted Lieu, an Air Force veteran, called out the statement for what it is: bigotry.

Vets Against Trump, a national grassroots movement against the president, posted a series of tweets, calling for “shame” on Trump and saying the exclusion of transgender service members is “horrifically un-American.”

Notably, Trump dodged the draft himself numerous times.

According to a New York Times report, despite a seemingly unblemished health record, Trump obtained a medical deferment and four additional deferments for education.

“He stood 6 feet 2 inches with an athletic build; had played football, tennis and squash; and was taking up golf. His medical history was unblemished, aside from a routine appendectomy when he was 10,” according to the New York Times. “But after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels.”

The diagnosis, the Times said, exempted him from military service that about 300,000 men did undergo.

According to the Times, Trump “also asserted that it was ‘ultimately’ the luck of a high draft lottery number rather than the medical deferment that kept him out of the war. But his Selective Service records, obtained from the National Archives, suggest otherwise.”

The Twitter account for “The Daily Show” questioned if Trump’s definition of LGBT, a community he previously said he supports, simply excludes those incorporated under the final letter.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

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