Trump tweets news of transgender military ban, citing burden of ‘tremendous medical costs’

Research and testimony debunk validity of Trump's claims

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President Donald Trump announced a military ban for Transgender individuals on July 26. Courtesy of user Gage Skidmore through Flickr

Early this morning, United States President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets announcing the decision to ban transgender individuals from the U.S. military. Trump said the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption” he claims the presence of transgender individuals entails.

The Trump Administration’s decision reverses the Department of Defense’s October 2016 dissolution of a pre-existing transgender military ban stating, “Effective immediately, transgender Service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”

Despite Trump’s claim of high medical costs and disruption, Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in Congress on Tuesday that the inclusion of transgender individuals in the military causes no disruption or cost. Mullen also said, “The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.”

In response to Trump’s announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union released a statement: “Let us be clear. 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.”

Portland State is home to many veterans and a large transgender community. Currently, Dr. Deanna Cor, PSU assistant professor of counseling is conducting research with trans military personnel and veterans to highlight and give voice to their experiences, according to a statement from the PSU Office of Communications.

PSU students and community members affected by this news may reach out to the Queer Resource Center, Veterans Resource Center, trans advocates and utilize PSU Center for Health and Counseling’s on-call services.

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