President Donald Trump stated on Wednesday in a tweet that the United States would be banning transgender individuals from serving in the nation’s armed forces.
In a series of tweets President Trump stated the following: “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow … transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military. 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. Thank you.”
Such a policy grossly violates the following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” and “Article 23 (1). Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”
The backlash against the policy decision and the fact that it had been announced on Twitter was instantaneous and across party lines. Republican John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said, “any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military – regardless of their gender identity.”
This decision contradicts the actions taken by the Obama administration just over a year ago to increase inclusivity in the army. On June 30 2016, then Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, stated that enlisted transgender individuals would be able to openly serve in the U.S. armed forces. At the time Carter also stated that “we’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.” A deadline was also placed for the following year, whereby the Pentagon would decide whether to allow transgender people to enlist in the military.
CNN reported on the 1st of July 2017 that the Pentagon would delay the deadline on this decision for six months. In an internal memo, obtained by CNN, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated “we will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.”
The “costs” have been labelled as the main motivator behind this policy but what is baffling is that research reported in the Washington Post states that “total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to $84 million annually, according to an analysis by the Military Times — 10 times the cost of annual transition-related medical care for active duty transgender service members.”
With that being said, it seems to be clear that according to the Trump administration the sexual health of heterosexuals is more important than that of transgender people.
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