President Donald Trump in late August said he would exclude transgender people from enlisting in the military.
Obama’s administration reversed the policy before he left office as one of his last acts in office allowing transgender individuals to serve in U.S. military.
Trump also banned the Department of Defense from allowing medical treatment for transgender individuals currently serving.
“It is disgusting that you can be banned from serving your country as an American, because you are trans person. I believe serving in the military is a brave thing to do and nobody should be excluded,” said Stockton native Anthony Herrera.
Trump announced this plan in a series of Tweets through his personal Twitter account.
“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,” he wrote.
According to the 2016 Rand report, the U.S. military has about 6,600 trans-people serving, with a total of $8 million in total health care from hormone treatments and gender transitions.
By comparison, military spending on erectile dysfunction is $84 million annually according to analysis done by the Military Times.
The military spending up to $46 million on Viagra alone.
“We waste money on unnecessary projects for the government every year, why not use that money for our transgender military service members,” said Stockton native Max Garcia, when asked about Trump’s reason for the ban.
As for the trans-people serving in the military currently, it is uncertain if they will be able to continue to serve when the ban comes into effect.
During the White House briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee said: “The President is the President for all Americans, and during last year’s campaign he was the first GOP nominee to talk about LBGTQ issues at the GOP convention, but he also was critical of the Obama administration’s change in that long standing DOD policy.”
Trump has received a ton of backlash from this policy change.
The media, various organizations and companies are outspoken against the ban.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of ACLU which stands for The American Civil Liberties Union.
It was filed on behalf of six active military service members against the President, according to the ACLU.
“In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment,” according to ACLU.org.