Betrayed By Trump: Outrage As ACLU, Democrats, Civil Rights Orgs All Condemn Transgender Ban

In a series of early morning statements on Wednesday, Donald Trump reversed the actions taken by President Obama to allow transgender individuals to openly serve in the U.S. military. Citing dubious claims of conversations he had with “generals and military experts,” he overturned the Obama-era rule by what has become his preferred medium for big announcements — Twitter:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is on vacation, so it’s unclear who exactly Trump is claiming to have spoken to with the authority to make such a recommendation. In fact, the Pentagon has referred all questions on the new policy right back to the White House. By citing the discredited theory that medical costs would be too burdensome to bear, Trump is venturing into military policy best informed by those with knowledge of the inner workings of budget and allocation — Trump himself, of course, has none.

It wasn’t the first action he’s taken seemingly to both pander to his base and to thumb his nose at advancements by the previous administration. And like his reversals on ecology, immigration, education, health care, and safety regulations, his activity on civil rights was an immediate call to arms for those who oppose his policies.

Right away, there was a response from Twitter, beginning with the de facto leader of the LGBT community on social media, George Takei:

But this time, the backlash wasn’t just in the form of tweets.

Despite the fact that Trump’s unilateral action came just hours ago, statements have already been issued by Democratic groups, civil rights organizations, LGBTQ+ groups, and even individual members of Congress. Perhaps most notably, the ACLU has taken up the cause, inviting any soldiers affected by Trump’s pronouncement to contact them:

This is an outrageous and desperate action. The thousands of transgender service members serving on the front lines for this country deserve better than a commander-in-chief who rejects their basic humanity.

Let us be clear. This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country. The president is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country.

There is no basis for turning trans people away from our military and the ACLU is examining all of our options on how to fight this. For any trans service member affected by today’s announcement: Please get in touch with us, because we want to hear from you.”

History is never kind to an unkind president, and Donald Trump is on a path to prove himself the worst of all.

Featured image via George Frey/Getty Images

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