Archive for Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump bars transgender individuals from U.S. armed forces

In this March 27, 2008 file photo, the Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

In this March 27, 2008 file photo, the Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

July 26, 2017, 9:11 a.m. Updated July 26, 2017, 2:39 p.m.

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— President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants transgender people barred from serving in the U.S. military "in any capacity," citing "tremendous medical costs and disruption."

Trump's announcement on Twitter would reverse the effort under President Barack Obama to open the armed services to transgender people. He did not say what would happen to transgender troops already in the military.

The president tweeted that he was making his announcement after consulting with "generals and military experts," but he did not name any. He said the 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."

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered little clarity about the policy at a press briefing. Asked what will happen to transgender troops currently serving, she said the Department of Defense and the White House will work together "as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully."

She did not provide a timeline.

Sanders described the move as a "military decision." She said Trump was concerned the current policy is "expensive and disruptive" and "erodes military readiness and military cohesion." She said the secretary of defense was notified yesterday after Trump made the decision.

At the Pentagon, members of the staff of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis appeared to have been caught unaware by Trump's tweets. A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, referred questions to the White House.

In a brief written statement, Davis said the Pentagon is working with the White House to "address" what he called "the new guidance" from the president. He said the Pentagon will provide revised guidance to Defense Department officials "in the near future."

Members of Congress also seemed caught by surprise. Asked if he was notified in advance about the announcement, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said, "No. I read about it when you reported it."

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban. Since last Oct. 1, they have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system.

Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military. Mattis announced earlier this month that he was giving military chiefs another six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services would affect the "readiness or lethality" of the force.

Already, there are as many as 250 service members in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon's personnel system, according to several defense officials.

The Pentagon has refused to release any data on the number of transgender troops currently serving. A Rand Corp. study last year estimated about 2,450 transgender people in active military, out of about 1.3 million troops.

On cost, the study said only a subset would seek gender transition related treatment, estimating that health care costs would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, or a 0.04 percent to 0.13 percent increase in spending on active military.

The issue of transgender troops was debated recently in the GOP-led House, which narrowly rejected a measure that would have forbidden the Pentagon from paying for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy. Supporters saw the measure as an opportunity to roll back what they called Obama's social engineering of the armed forces. But Democrats criticized the proposal as bigoted and unconstitutional, and they won enough Republican support to block it.

Trump's decision drew swift outrage from LGBT groups and from lawmakers from both parties.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq War, said that when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, she didn't care "if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else. All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind."

Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe-SLDN, which represents the LGBT population in the military, said thousands have been serving in the U.S. armed forces without causing any issues.

"It's an absolute absurdity and another overstep," Thorn said. He threatened legal action if Wednesday's decision is not reversed.

Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the tweet was "another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter."

McCain, a former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, said "any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train and deploy to leave the military_regardless of their gender identity." He said there should be no policy changes until the current review is completed and assessed by the secretary of defense, military leaders and Congress.

And Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said that "transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them."

Some conservative organizations and lawmakers hailed the decision.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins applauded Trump for "keeping his promise to return to military priorities — and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation's military."

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said "we don't need to be experimenting with the military. Plus there's no reason to take on that kind of financial burden."

During his election campaign, Trump occasionally presented himself as a potential ally of gays and lesbians, promising to be a "real friend" of their community.

However, LGBT activists have been angered by many of his administration's actions, including the rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. Many top members of the administration are long-time foes of LGBT-rights policy changes, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Comments

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 weeks ago

I have already (too many times) exhausted my take on the incompetent, disgusting, debauched, degraded, fool that the people of the United States were fooled into thinking that he was better than the competent, experience, capable, reasonable candidate for the office.

Our future as a democratic and sane nation is in dire peril.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks ago

Back off, Chump. You can't get anything done that leads to MAGA, so you resort to dehumanizing tactics just so your "base" can feel you've stood by their bigoted, misogynistic, unfounded prejudices. This kind of sidetracking will not make the majority of voters any less willing to accept your stupid moves as anything but what they are. And you say you represent the party of smaller, less intrusive government. That's just one of your endless lies, and I, for one, am sick to death of it.

Just back off.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 weeks ago

Boy Greg...........you are gonna get it from the "Bobs"!! I know.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks ago

Good. As I said, I'm sick of their stupid comments saying nothing, meaning nothing, and aimed only at the idiots who purport to support Chump and his non-policy world. Bring "em on.

Justin Hoffman 3 weeks ago

The right thing to do in so many ways. Trump is to be applauded

Paul Beyer 3 weeks ago

Actually if you would change your rant from "applauded" to "IMPEACHED". I would be forced to agree with you for once.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

Now it's time to draft you to take the place of those transgenders who will be kicked out. You know that your lord and masters wimpy little sons won't fight. It's your turn.

David Barrett 3 weeks ago

How so Justin? I'm honestly curious why this is the right thing to do.

Justin Hoffman 3 weeks ago

I could give you a dozen valid reasons. All of which would not in any way, shape, or form violate LJWorld's TOS. However, just like my posts concerning homosexuality (which never violate the TOS), they would be deleted immediately. Thus, I am left to simply state again, this decision is the right thing to do for many reasons.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks ago

OK, how about you email them to me and I'll publish them. Your excuses is lame.

JM Andy 3 weeks ago

So you're a chicken s--t that has nothing to back-up his bigotry. So surprised.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

So which branch of the military have you served in, Justin? Inquiring minds want to know.

Bob Forer 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Justin is a Bigot. But I guess he does have a little shame.

Michael Kort 3 weeks ago

Trump......wins the next battle......but loose the leadership war...... while grandstanding for his base .

I am waiting for the Chinese to get back into their box (?) for the Mexicans to pay for his wall (?) and for the day when aircraft carriers can really be in two places at once (?) on the high seas which would really scare the North Koreans .......RIGHT ?

The next "accomplish nothing meaningful display" that is supposed to mean something but it doesn't really serve any great purpose but only as a distraction from his failure to lead to any necessary ends .

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

And now we have a bunch of Scouts who have been told to go out, get filthy rich, sell your business, buy a yacht and have fun. You know what kind of fun, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Cut out this honorable scout stuff. Colbert wrote Trump's new scout pledge.

Joseph Jarvis 3 weeks ago

Hey trans readers: Most of Lawrence (there are always a few naysayers) think you're fabulous. Don't let a bad news day get you down. Donate $20 to Outserve-SLDN and join a friend for a cocktail somewhere in liberal Larry tonight. Sincerely, LFK

Gary Stussie 3 weeks ago

You don't have to be anti-trans to be concerned for its compatibility with the military. The military should not be the proving grounds for every progressive social agenda. Readiness and expense should be primary considerations. Plenty of alternate ways for trans people to serve the country.

David Barrett 3 weeks ago

How would transgender people serving in the military affect the readiness and expense of our armed forces?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 weeks ago

Actually, when I think a bit about it........Chump is already on his "re-election" fraud, and he wants the votes of all the religious bigots who do not want any "queers" in the military. Makes good sense to me.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

But they don't want their poor little boys to be drafted either. All these faux patriots make me sick.

William Cummings 3 weeks ago

For anyone that missed the CNN piece on Kirstin Beck, here is a link to the trailer. https://youtu.be/zqV5Q-rjsfM

Bob Summers 3 weeks ago

Gay men in the military have been scoping out other guys in the showers since time immortal. Guys calling themselves girls are going to be mad they can't shower with girls.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks ago

That stupid comment simply shows why you haven't a clue as to transgender thinking. As well as most of what you blather about.

Bob Summers 3 weeks ago

While in the military, I had more date offers from guys than I have ever had in civilian life. The military is where gays and transgender go. So tell me your "clue"? Are you gay? Transgender? Were you not in the military scoping guys like me out? If not, you do not have a blathering clue.

Greg Cooper 3 weeks ago

This story is about the 2450 (out of 1.3 million) in the military who identify as trans. It is not about gay guys or women. So, apart from your prejudice, apparently not a lot of transgender go there. My "clue" is that gay does not equate to transgender. That's my "clue". If you want to talk gay, then wait for a story on gay. If you want to respond intelligently to this one, then talk about transgender. They are not the same.

By the way, if I were gay, I'd still be "scoping out" those who exhibited a modicum of intelligence about things they talked about, so, no I wouldn't be looking for you.

Bob Summers 3 weeks ago

Your patented Liberal response lacks boots on the ground experience.

Maybe this highly complex critically thought out piece, by the troubadours of truth, will find compass for your meandering thought process.

http://mashable.com/2017/07/26/trans-soldiers-save-trump-butt/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link#QNYDshYMqmqc

Paul Beyer 3 weeks ago

Not sure where, what branch or when you served, but I call BS on your posts. I served in many locations, with many different people. But were never propositioned by anyone of my sex. The only one i knew that got discharged for being gay was someone that was part of our group, who barhopped, went to sports venues, beaches, car races, etc , but never made any approaches to anyone in our group. He got arrested and then discharged while on leave in his home town. I again, state your post is pure homophobic BS.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bears no rebuttal, Bob. Thanks for taking the right side for a change.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

Whenever anyone asks you out for a date, all you have to do is say no, Bob. It's just not that hard. Let them know you are straight and they won't ask you agains. It's not hard. Repeat after me. "No, I'm straight. I'm not interested, thank you." And if a woman asks you for a date and you're married you say, "No, I'm married. Not interested, thank you." Try it. It's easy.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 weeks ago

Bob.....what is to say........you must know all about being gay if you are getting a lots of offers. I was in for four years and never ever had any other sailor give me a tumble. Gee........I must not be very......well................approachable.

Which country did you serve in the "military" of??

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

Gay men do not want to have sex with straight men. Get over yourself, Bob. They weren't ever attracted to you. And if a gay man ever did come on to you, all you would have to do is say no, just like when a woman who you are not married to comes on to you. Oh yeah, men have a hard time doing that, don't they? That's why men have a hard time with gays. They don't know how to say no to sex.

Ray Mizumura 3 weeks ago

The LGBT people who have served in our military, and who are serving now, have contributed positively to our country. They are better Americans than Donald Trump, draft dodger, ever has been or ever will be.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

Good point. How do all these fake patriots who support Trump admire him for his fake bone spurs, but put down brave gays and trans who serve?

Justin Hoffman 3 weeks ago

Trump's tweet has caused liberals to go into meltdown mode rivaled only by Chernobyl. Restoring morals to our country apparently causes boil over. Funny.

Theodore Calvin 3 weeks ago

Yup, being purposely antagonistic for personal pleasure and to make ones self feel better is hilarious (sarcasm). That's called being a bully. At least you know what Chernobyl is, something you can thank your public education for...or at least you can make a reference to it that is contextually correct.

William Cummings 3 weeks ago

"Restoring morals to our country apparently causes boil over."

So, as I understand it, you are positing that Trump is some sort of a "moral beacon" for us all? As you say, funny.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 weeks ago

Your hate is moral? Wow, what religion are you?

Steve Hicks 2 weeks, 6 days ago

"Funny" that you think the current president cares about, or is himself a suitable person to, "restore morals to our country." Please enlighten us, Justin, what you consider are "morals" ?

Larry Sturm 3 weeks ago

I think we should ban a sex pervert from the white house.

Armen Kurdian 3 weeks ago

By that definition, FDR would have been banned. Probably a lot of others too.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 weeks ago

WHAT........WHAT.......WHAT.........THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG!!!!!!. And getting bashed and trashed by the "Bobs" and others.

But with the "morality" of the fascist Republicans,,,,,,,,,,,,,ain't gonna happen!!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Okay, time to draft the Trumps. Let's see his youngest son is too young, but his older boys look in good shape. They can be drafted. And Ivanka is in good shape too. Lots of women in the military now. At least Mike Pence's son served, but he could be called up again. Huckabee's son is into violence (tortured and killed a dog), let's draft hm. I think Cheney has a grandchildren. How old are they? Brownback has five kids. How old are they? Rand Paul's son needs to go, it might make him stop drinking. Scott Walker has 2 sons. Rick Perry has 2 kids. I'll bet we can gather up all the children and grandchildren (adult age of course) of GOP politicians and replace the trans in the military. Good job, Trump.

Bob Harvey 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Dorothy forgive me but it seems you often bring up as a criticism about those who did not serve. Would you be so kind to share your military experiences? I know serving for you is a measure of validation for issues like this. If that is true why are so many commenting? I served for 22 years. Should my opinion be any more valuable?

Last question. Where were you late in the late 60's and early 70' Certainly gladly coming home to a country where you were looked on with disdain.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Dorothy seems to see military service as a punishment for the children of people she disagrees with. That's about as wrong-headed and mean-spirited as most of her opinions.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bob, you know darn well, it's never the children of people like Trump who put their life on the line. You cowardly Trump didn't, did he? Try defending his cowardly act. You fake patriots are pretty disgusting. I'll bet you have a "Support the Troops" bumper sticker, don't you. Let's have a war,s so my arms dealers stocks will soar, right? You'll wave the flag while young people go off to war. You'll put you heart over your hand when they come back in a box. But don't ask you to pay for it, right?

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I served my country in the US Army. That's another thing you are wrong about.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Thank you for your service, Bob. Just not quite sure how you have any respect for Trump. And how you can put down others who have been willing to serve,

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

You just didn't get the point, did you. If Trump wants to get rid of more that 2,000 soldiers who had the stamina and the bravery to join the military, we have to replace them somehow. But you know the Trump family has never had the courage to defend their country, have they? You don't think Trump's fake bone spurs weren't disdainful to you? At least those against the war had a cause. Trump's cause was to save his own behind.

And, no, I never served. I do not have the stamina and physical strength. If I had, I probably would have served. I do have plenty of family members who did. But that wasn't really the point was it. The point is your life was put on the line, but the rich never have to. They just send you off to die. This song describes Trump, but you seem to love the guy.

[Verse 1] Some folks are born made to wave the flag Ooh they're red, white and blue And when the band plays Hail to the Chief Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

[Chorus ] It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no senator's son, son It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no fortunate one, no

[Verse 2] Some folks are born silver spoon in hand Lord, don't they help themselves, no But when the taxman comes to the door Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

[Chorus] It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no millionaire's son, no no It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no fortunate one, no

[Verse 3] Some folks inherit star spangled eyes Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord And when you ask them, "How much should we give?" Ooh, they only answer More, more, more!

Ray Mizumura 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Sean Spicer might be going on "Dancing with the Stars" soon, according to the entertainment news. Let's hope so. That could give 45th President something for amusement. He'd be able to Tweet his brains out, critiquing the moves of his ex-spokesperson. He's good at stuff like that, so why not? Things would still stink like Hades in Washington but at least 45th would do a lot less damage.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Good lord. The GOP just seems to be into fake celebrity stuff. Disgusting.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

What one President does by decree, the next President can undo. This is the legacy of the imperial rule of the last resident of 1600 Penn. Ave.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 6 days ago

You know none of these are a Trump. Even his dad didn't serve in WWII.

Gary Stussie 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I'm not sure "expense" is a sound reason for excluding trans from military service. The military maintains a large number of medical personnel to treat and repair grievous wounds and burns. During my military career I knew many military wives who received free cosmetic surgery (for medical reasons) because there were not enough casualties coming in to keep the surgeons skill levels up.

There is one concern ... the concept of "UNIFORM". It is more than just the name of the neat outfits we wear. Our military works most efficiently when it is focuses on defeating an enemy rather then the individual issues associated with the personnel. For instance, it was not long ago that a "My Wife she ..." issue was countered by the standard response that "If the military wanted you to have a wife, it would have issued you one in your seabag!". In short, I believe that the more the military focuses on the personal "issues" of its members, the less effective it can be as a fighting force.

Have you noticed that at some point, our government agencies appear to reach a critical mass, at which point they seem to forget their respective charters (of serving the people) and seem to exist to primarily support their employees. It would be extremely dangerous for this nation should our military to become so focused.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Does it not make your logic circuits cringe when you say the military's purpose is "serving the people", but you shy away from having some of "the people" doing that serving? I don't think you can have it both ways, Gary: either the people serve the people or they don't, and not allowing qualified people do that you have set up an unworkable system. Sorry you don't see that you've just destroyed Chump's supposed argument.

Gary Stussie 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I wanted to be a Navy SEAL ... realizing I did not pack the physical or mental attributes to meet their standards, I went on to serve my country in a different capacity. I am glad they do not water down the standards of those special operators to accommodate me. Many ways for "the people" to serve.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I understand your point, but you're missing mine: that allowing qualified trans folks to serve in the military does not "water down the standards" required to serve in any capacity as a military member. I think you're equating trans with something it is not.

And, whatever you did to serve the country, I'm grateful you made that choice. But, did you not serve all the people in the nation, including those with whom you now have a beef? Just a thought.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The Pentagon has no plans on changing it's current policy on Transgender members of the military. A Tweet from the Donald is not enough for them to act upon. Not sure which Generals and Military experts he consulted before Tweeting his edict, but no one in the Pentagon was aware of any such proposed change and there will be no changes to the current policy unless something more formal than an early morning tweet is received from the Whitehouse. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/27/trump-transgender-military-ban-no-modification-241029

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