Donald Trump’s tweeted announcement today that the U.S. government will not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military has been denounced by numerous local organizations and officials, including the City of West Hollywood and the L.A. LGBT Center’s CEO Lori Jean.
“The City of West Hollywood is outraged by Donald Trump’s tweets today stating that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military — this is in direct contradiction to his 2016 campaign promise to fight for the LGBT community,” said a statement from the City of West Hollywood.
“According to the Williams Institute, more than 150,000 transgender adults have served in the U.S. Armed Forces or are currently on active duty. Our nation’s transgender military service members should be treated with the very highest degree of respect and admiration for their commitment to serve.
“Instead, the Commander-in-Chief has shamefully singled-out transgender military service members as the latest targets of his abusive rhetoric and regressive intolerance. By continuing to focus his 140-character attention span on yet another ignorant attack on the basic humanity of an entire group of people, Donald Trump disgracefully lowers the bar on respectful civil discourse and distracts the nation’s attention from vitally important issues such as healthcare and national security.
“The City of West Hollywood will #StandwithTransTroops and we will continue to fight for the full rights of transgender people and for the rights of all people to be treated with respect and dignity. Anything less is unacceptable.”
The L.A. LGBT Center announced late this afternoon that it is hosting tonight a “safe space for members of the community who need support in response to President Trump’s announcement today that he will reverse current policy that allows transgender people to serve openly in the military.” That space will be at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N. McCadden Place in Los Angeles.
“A video booth will be set up to record messages of support to trans service members as well as tables throughout The Village at Ed Gould Plaza for guests to write targeted messages to U.S. Department of Defense officials,” said the announcement.
Facilitators from the Center’s Mental Health Services and ACLU Southern California also will be on hand.
In a statement released earlier, the Center’s Lori Jean said Trump’s tweet indicated that “he has continued his erosion of America’s reputation as a leader in protecting human rights.
“Ironically, the Department of Defense had already decided to allow transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. What was the President’s purported reason for this shameful and outrageous change in policy? Medical costs and disruption.
“This is simply another in a long list of falsehoods perpetrated by this President. Not only is there absolutely no evidence for his claims, the evidence is exactly the opposite. It is contrary to the experience of the many nations that allow transgender people to serve openly in their militaries. Countries like Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, Spain, and more.
“President Trump’s despicable reversal of the Pentagon’s policy allowing transgender people to openly serve in the military is beneath contempt. He dehumanizes the very people who have pledged to risk their lives for our country and the values our nation stands for: freedom, liberty and justice.
Jean also warned that “sources have revealed that the Department of Justice—this very day—may be filing a brief in the Federal Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, arguing that LGBT people are NOT protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This President is turning the Department of Justice, which once argued FOR protections for LGBT people, into an institution that seeks to harm and undermine us ….
“They may harm us in the short term, but right is on our side for the long term. In the meantime, we will fight this policy reversal not only for our community, but for our country. We will continue to fight Trump’s attempts to attack and diminish LGBT people—which serves to diminish all Americans.”