President Trump bans transgender people from the military
WASHINGTON D.C. - President Donald Trump is barring transgender people from serving in the military "in any capacity." He's citing "tremendous medical costs and disruption."
Trump's announcement Wednesday morning on Twitter did not say what would happen to transgender people already in the military.
The president tweeted that after consulting with "Generals and military experts," the government "will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
A spokesperson for the national LGBTQ advocacy group, The Human Rights Campaign described President Trump's decision as an "all-out assault" on transgender soldiers.
A Rand Corp. study estimated that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members on active duty and an additional 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq War, is slamming President Donald Trump's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.
Duckworth said in a statement Wednesday 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."
The Illinois senator said anyone willing to risk their lives for their country should be able to serve no matter gender or sexual orientation or race.
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.