Trump’s trans ban tanks

Taylor Ploeger, Managing Editor

     Trump’s recent ban on transgender individuals serving in the military was poorly received by many Americans. Trump had claimed that having transgender soldiers would cost the government an exorbitant amount of money.

     “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 U.S. 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,” Trump posted to Twitter on July 26, 2017.

     A study done in 2016 by Rand Corp., commissioned by the Defense Department, proved that these statements were false. The study found that transgender people would have “minimal impact” on the armed forces simply due to the small amount of them enlisted.

     The study went on to estimate that the health costs of transition surgeries and hormone treatments for all the transgender soldiers could range between $2.4 and $8.4 million. This is an extremely small portion of the total health care expenditures of the armed forces, which is roughly $6.2 billion.
Annually, the military spends $41.6 million on Viagra. The cost of fixing erectile dysfunction is about five times more than the life changing and often necessary costs transgender people in the military incur. Many have criticized Trump for his Twitter posts. The President essentially claimed the costs of health care for transgender soldiers aren’t as important as Viagra prescriptions.

     Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a federal judge for the District of Columbia, shared these sentiments. She found the justification for the ban “suspect and likely unconstitutional” according to a New York Times article by Dave Philipps, Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in Military.

     “There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all. In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her 76-page ruling.

     She went on to say that the proposed policies most likely violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

     The ruling came after a suit was filed by GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Democrats in Congress rejoiced.

     Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said, “Federal courts have again beat back the sinister specter of discrimination bred within the Trump White House. This court order will allow our transgender troops to continue serving based on their ability to fight, train, and deploy — regardless of gender identity.”

     Transgender troops felt the weight of possible discharge leave their shoulders however, they remain cautious as Trump’s administration continues to discriminate against their community.

Taylor is a senior Mass Communications major. She is an International Peer Mentor and a Managing Editor at The Voice