President Trump Universally Condemned On Transgender Stance -- Even Military Bigs Repudiate Commander in Chief

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Trump's bigoted stance widely condemned. Photo: Gage Skidmore--Flickr

President Donald Trump's bigoted announcement that Transgender Americans won't be able to serve in the armed forces anymore has been condemned and repudiated by a wide spectrum of elected officials and even leaders in the military.

President Trump's announcement of the discriminatory position in a tweet was followed by a statement by the Department of Justice that federal civil rights law does not protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination in the workplace, which was quickly denounced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York).  “President Trump’s brazen attacks on the civil rights of Americans at the ballot box, in the military, and now in the workplace are dangerous and contrary to the values our country was founded upon," Gillibrand said. "We will not allow the President to drag us back in time and roll back the civil rights of LGBTQ workers solely based on their sexual orientation without a fight. These craven attacks on basic rights are contemptible and cannot stand.”

New York's attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman and 18 other attorneys general also sent a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, opposing the Trump anti-Transgender in the military stance. “Transgender Americans who fight for our country deserve a government that will fight for them in return,” Schneiderman said. “We will fight to ensure all New Yorkers – and all Americans – are treated with dignity and fairness.”

The letter was led by Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin and signed by the attorneys general from Hawaii, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.

The attorneys general declared that the Trump ban is discriminatory and, despite the President’s claims otherwise, is actually harmful to military readiness. The letter notes that approximately 150,000 transgender service members have served in the United States Armed Forces. “Transgender service members fill a number of critical military roles. Retaining these talented service members strengthens—not weakens—our military readiness,” the letter read, in part.

New York's Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito said banning Transgender Americans from military service was "despicable, discriminatory and downright anti-American." The Speaker added: "The President’s blatant dismissal of those who would willingly put their lives on the line to protect our nation is disgraceful and goes against the very values Donald Trump claims to want to protect. This bigoted decision is the latest misstep from a White House that is determined to roll back progress and equality in the name of hate. In these troubling times, it has never been more important to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ, gender non-conforming and marginalized communities, and this City Council will continue to fight to defend the rights of all New Yorkers.”

New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, also denounced the Trump tweet and stance. "An American's personal identity should not be one that disqualifies him or her from service to their country. This discriminatory line of thinking and action has been a constant throughout Number 45's presidency. Truth be told, this open prejudice against our transgender brothers and sisters is one part of a much larger problem that few are focusing on."

Williams added: "This year alone, 15 transgender women of more color have been murdered, and no one is talking about this.  The climate under this Administration is one that encourages hostility against not only transgender Americans, but also Muslims, women,  and immigrants. For those who want to sit on the sidelines when it comes to transgender discrimination, I say emphatically that we cannot sit idly by as Number 45 attacks Americans."

Farhana Khera, the executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national organization, also denounced Trump, saying the president was breaking an earlier promise.

"Military integration has marched forward for generations – allowing African Americans, women, and LGBTQ Americans to serve – until today. On the 69th anniversary of the desegregation of our military, this is a historic rollback to that march toward integration," Khera said. "President Trump’s hostility towards equal rights in our nation and our military is apparent – from the nomination of anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT Mark Green for Army Secretary and now this revocation of transgender service rights.  We will not cede an inch to this Administration's blatant attacks on the rights of women, religious minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and people of color."

The American Unity Front's Senior Advisor Tyler Deaton, said:  "President Trump promised to protect the transgender community. As President, he said he was 'respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights' and would 'protect the community from violence and oppression.' But President Trump has broken his promise and, coupled with his administration's efforts to roll back protections for transgender students in our nation's public schools, he is developing an undeniable pattern of anti-gay and anti-transgender policy while in office. With bipartisan support, Congress repealed the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in 2010. Military and civilian leaders at the Pentagon developed and continue to support the current policies for open transgender military service. Republican icon and U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater once said, 'You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.'"


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