Taking to Twitter early Wednesday morning, Trump announced that Transgender individuals will no longer be accepted for service in the United States Military. This decision comes after a decade of sweeping reforms under the Obama administration that removed bias against LGBT individuals serving in the military.
Inland Northwest Business Alliance has not yet released a formal statement on the matter, as we are still gathering information about the ban, which has not been enacted as official policy.
The Spokesman-Review published a front page article on 7/27, quoting multiple INBA members on their personal reactions. The following are excerpts from the full article:
Robbi Anthony, vice president of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance that supports LGBT-friendly firms in the region, said Trump’s announcement continued a trend pushing back on hard-fought victories for the community.
“Right after the election, there was a lot of fear about how this community could be impacted,” said Anthony, a local tech business owner and transgender woman. “This is the manifestation of one of those fears.”
Marvin Reguindin, general manager of the Inland Northwest Business Alliance, questioned where such a policy could end.
“We don’t feel that this is moving forward in any way,” said Reguindin, who’s been with the organization for two decades. “Gays and lesbians could be next on the list, as well as bisexuals, saying they should not serve in the military because of one thing or another. Will they roll back the role of women in the 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.”
According to the New York Times, the announcement came amid a debate on Capitol Hill over the Obama-era practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for medical treatment related to gender transition. The dispute has unfolded as Congress considers a nearly $700 billion spending bill to fund the Pentagon. Representative Vicky Hartzler, Republican of Missouri, has proposed an amendment that would bar the Pentagon from spending money on transition surgery or related hormone therapy, and other Republicans have pressed for similar provisions.
Estimates have placed the cost of gender-transition-related medical services for military personnel at .004% to .017% of all Department of Defense medical expenses. For clarification, that is only the percentage of the DoD medical expenses, not the entire Department of Defense budget, totaling $598 Billion in FY 2015. That places the cost of transgender service members’ medical costs at around .000014% of all military spending.