Former head of the Navy, Ray Mabus, is speaking out about the dangers of President Trump’s transgender ban. At the Veteran’s Global Leadership event in Washington he called the policy “the dumbest government policy you could possibly pursue and it weakens us and hurts our military.”
Mabus, who served as the top commander in the Navy under President Obama, was a major force in implementing progressive policies, including the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which barred gays from openly serving in the military. On the topic, Mabus said, “I have this notion, that if you can do a job, the only qualification to get that job ought to be the ability to do the job. Color or race or ethnicity or gender or who you love, or what your sexual identity is ought to be irrelevant. Who cares”
He told a story about a Navy medic who approached him saying he was gay and didn’t want his troop to find out and force him to leave the service. To this Mabus said, “Three combat deployments, risking his life everyday with the Marines and yet his biggest worry was he was going to found out as being gay and kicked out. How bad is that And how much weaker does that make our military”
Mabus was quick to speak out against the leadership of Trump, saying, “It worries me that we have a president who makes decisions by whim and by tweet about how we’re going to use our military. I think the military has the right to expect that before we commit that somebody’s thought about it, it’s been really carefully planned, that we’re not just doing it because it’s what we think makes us feel good at the moment. That worries me.”
In nine months, the Trump administration will go to trial on the heels of being sued by transgender members of the military for posing a ban for anyone who has had a sex change. This is despite the Pentagon’s conclusion that overall the policy has been positive. As Mabus puts it: “To have that reversed in a tweet with no evidence, no thought, nothing, it’s breaking faith with the people who are willing to serve.” As of now, transgender people can enlist in the military, pending the outcome of the aforementioned trial.