WASHINGTON (WWJ/AP) – President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces.
Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with “generals and military experts,” that the government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Trump added, “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.”
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.
Rachel Crandall-Crocker, Executive Director of Transgender Michigan, was taken aback president’s tweet.
“I’m really shocked!” she told WWJ’s Laura Bonnell. “I mean, we were making a lot of progress and people were finally being accepted as who they were; and now it looks like we’re going to take a big step backwards.”
Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), a Vice Chair of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Equality Caucus put out a statement saying that the president’s ban on transgender service members undermines our military’s readiness and is “a slap in the face” to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military.
“Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe,” Kildee added.
The edict by Trump comes after military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting.
Crandall-Crocker noted that it’s unclear at this time what will become of transgender troops are already openly serving. “I’m worried about the people who came out because they saw that was safe,” she said.
It’s also unclear at this time how military officials will determine whom is considered transgender.
Legal experts expect the ban to be challenged in the courts.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.