Yesterday Donald Trump announced that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the USA military. "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".
It may not be front and center in Washington, but in city halls and statehouses, debates continue to rage over LGBT rights, particularly as transgender people seek access to bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. The Pentagon has for the most part remained silent on the matter.
However, some United States media outlets questioned the spending justification. Even though I'm transgender, I've been a longtime critic of American military policy, and don't count any active transgender service members among my close friends.
Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that transgender people would be barred from military service was immediately looked at by many pundits as an attempt to deploy a "wedge" issue that then backfired when congressional Republicans, beginning with Alabama's Richard Shelby, dissented from the new administration policy.
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, the president said, "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail".
"Thank you?", Colbert asked, perplexed. The harried White House press secretary threatened to end the briefing if questions persisted. "I am sorry your "commander in chief" doesn't value it", she further posted.
Local advocates from Equality Toledo say they were discouraged by President Trumps decision.
Estimates of transgender service members vary.
Alaina Kupec, a Navy intelligence officer from 1992 until 1995, said she felt "heartbreak" after she heard about Trump's tweet.
"Pray for him as he faces critics and opposition", evangelical leader Franklin Graham wrote of the president Wednesday on Facebook, describing the transgender ban as "a bold move". The messages, quickly denounced by leading members of Congress from both major parties, confused military leaders - who had not been informed of the change in policy.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, is another day that Shinn, who lives in Castle Rock, will remember forever, and one that she says presents as much danger to her fellow Marines as that October day in Iraq. Trump used military readiness as an excuse to drum up vitriol, but it is his own action that distracts from military readiness, morale and focus on defeating the enemy. A 2016 study by the Rand Corporation projected that transition-related healthcare spending would make up only 0.005-0.017% of the Defense Department's health care budget. "This is their decision, so we will support it". But new leaders took over and by 2015 things weren't going well.
"This is a debate that we had on the floor similar to this about a week ago". It is about bigotry, rather than military readiness, reason or science.
The military argument against service by the transgendered is that this creates distractions and discipline problems in the field (including possible mistreatment).
The Family Research Council has estimated those procedures could cost US taxpayers up to $3.7 billion over the next 10 years.
Dunford, in his message to the US military, appeared to acknowledge uncertainty in the ranks.
A local member of the Pride Community Service Organization and a transgender herself agrees healthcare costs shouldn't be an issue, but sexuality should have nothing to do with the ability to serve your country.
"Those who serve our country deserve our gratitude and respect".
"Just over a year now transgender people were able to openly serve, so thousands of transgender people came out openly", said Cathy Serino, a Missouri Army veteran. John McCain said in a statement released by his office.
"It's sad to say, but from either suicide or from hate crimes, people may lose their lives because of what President Trump tweeted today".
The comedian then defended the "amazingly courageous trans people" who should be able to join the military, as well as those who are already serving or who have in the past. "Excommunicating transgender soldiers only weakens our readiness; it doesn't strengthen it". "We want to adopt children and raise a family and do it in the military because that's what we know, but this puts a pause on that".
"You are not a 'burden.' Do not let this president shake you. I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs".