WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to ban transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces.
The decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, which was still under final review. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that he was delaying enactment of the plan to begin allowing transgender individuals to join the US military.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
“Thank you,” he added.
You can read his full series of tweets below.
Representative Kevin Yoder, an Overland Park Republican, issued a statement Wednesday morning saying, “In an era where the United States depends on a voluntary fighting force to protect our freedoms, anyone who wants to serve our country should be able to. But I believe taxpayer dollars should not be spent on gender reassignment therapies or surgeries.”
Rep. Sam Graves, Republican from Kansas City, Mo., issued a statement. “Our military’s top and only priority should be the defense of this nation, and nothing should ever distract from that. I hope all other issues can be put aside, and our brave military men and women can continue the difficult and dangerous job at hand.”
The Office of Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Republican from Kansas’s 2nd, issued a statement. “While Congresswoman Jenkins would like to see the actual proposal the President tweeted about, she has always believed that if you want to serve our nation and are qualified you should be able to serve.”