United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that the government will not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military “in any capacity”.
The decision was made after consulting with generals and other military experts, Trump said in a series of tweets. “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 said.
In 2016, former Defence Secretary Ash Carter had ended a longtime ban on openly transgender people serving in the US military. The Pentagon had said transgender individuals could begin enlisting starting 2017 and that the military would take up the medical costs of gender reassignment surgery for current service members who wanted to opt for it.
However, current Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in June had approved a six-month delay in their recruitment.
While campaigning in 2016 ahead of the presidential elections, Trump had supported the LGBT community and had promised to fight for their rights. “I will fight for you while Hillary [Clinton] brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he had tweeted in June 2016.