Donald Trump’s ill-considered ban on transgender soldiers

TRANSGENDER people are no longer welcome in America’s military, Donald Trump announced abruptly on July 26th. The news seemed to catch everyone by surprise, including Pentagon officials, and was delivered via Mr Trump’s favourite medium, Twitter. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts”, Mr Trump wrote, apparently disingenuously, “please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military”. Why the personnel change, which affects soldiers as well as cooks, chaplains and cartographers? “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 added, in a flourish of politesse, “Thank you”.

The American military employs more transgender people than any other organisation in the world: around 15,500, according to a 2014 study, more than 6,000 of whom are on active duty. So a…Continue reading

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