MONTEREY, Calif. - President Trump announced in a series of tweets Wednesday that transgender people will be banned from serving in the armed forces "in any capacity."
This decision reverses a policy that the Defense Department approved under President Obama last year. Ash Carter, Defense Secretary under Obama, ended the ban on trans people openly serving in the military in June 2016, granting the Pentagon a year-long review period to determine how it would accept transgender recruits into the military.
Last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that he was delaying enactment on the plan to accept transgender recruits into the military. Today, President Trump announced that transgender people will be unable to serve in the military at all.
Congressman Jimmy Panetta is a member of the House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality Caucus and issued this statement following President Trumps tweet.
"The President’s tweet attacking transgender service members is shameful and prejudiced. Those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country should not face discrimination from anyone, let alone their Commander in Chief. Last year, the Department of Defense implemented a policy to allow transgender troops to serve openly in the military. Today’s guidance by President Trump, if carried out by the Department of Defense, to explicitly ban people who are already serving and wish to serve our country is a huge step back in the progress we have made in the name of diversity and inclusion. As member of the House Armed Services Committee and a veteran, I value every American who is willing and able to join the U.S. military. I urge the President to reverse his guidance, and to respect and support those who protect our country regardless of their gender identity.”
KION's Linda Zhang is at the Presidio of Monterey as the story unfolds and reactions continue to come in across the country, her story at 5 p.m.