Trump bans transgenders from military, Canada welcomes them
Donald Trump wants to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military in any capacity asserting that their service would bring “tremendous medical costs and disruption”
US President Donald Trump has sparked outrage and confusion among people after tweeting that he wants to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military in any capacity asserting that their service would bring “tremendous medical costs and disruption”.
In a series of tweets, Trump made the declaration on Wednesday, he wrote:
According to The New York Times report, President Trump elected to announce the ban in order to resolve a quietly brewing fight on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members. The dispute had threatened to kill a $790 billion defence and security spending package scheduled for a vote this week. But rather than addressing that narrow issue, Mr. Trump opted to upend the entire policy on transgender service members.
The study found that allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military would “have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs” for the Pentagon. It estimated that health care costs would rise $2.4 million to $8.4 million a year, representing a 0.04 to 0.13 per cent increase in spending.
In 2016, former US President Barack Obama had decided to allow transgenders to serve in the US military. Announcing the decision on June 30, the then Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had argued that the Defence Department and the military needed to avail themselves of all talent possible in order to remain the finest fighting force the world has ever known.
Last July, the Pentagon lifted a long-standing ban against transgender men and women serving openly in the military, removing one of its last discriminatory hurdles and placing gender identity on par discrimination based on race, religion, colour, sex and sexual orientation.
The policy part of the Obama administration’s Force of the Future initiative which aimed to make the straight-laced, male-dominated US military more inclusive. In 2015, the administration opened all combat positions to women and in 2016 appointed the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, Eric K Fanning.
Meanwhile, the Canadian military has welcomed recruits of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The official page of Canadian Forces tweeted hours after Trump announced the ban.
The Obama plan allowed transgender service members currently on duty to immediately serve openly. Armed services had to come up with medical and training plans and until July 1, 2017, for full implementation. The Trump administration initially pushed that date back, and now has reversed the policy.
With inputs from PTI
Published: 27 Jul 2017, 11:42 AM