Let Transgender People Serve in the Military

Madelyn Starks, Staff Writer

Last Monday Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked key segments of President Donald Trump’s military policy, which bans transgender people from serving in the military.

This policy is prejudiced and it infringes upon their civil rights and liberties.

Before the decision was made, Trump announced over the summer on Twitter that he would roll back the Obama-based policy that allowed transgender men and women to serve in the armed forces, which was only in place for a year.

According to The Washington Post, Trump announced this policy without proper advisement.

Gender identity does not deem a person unfit to serve in the United States Armed Forces. The president is displaying obvious prejudice.

Not only is this a civil rights issue, but also an economic issue, as he stated that the military could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender people who serve.”

However RAND Corporation, an American non-profit organization which provides research to the United States Armed Forces, found that allowing transgender people to serve would cost very little.

The cost to the Pentagon for transitional procedures would be around $2.9 million to $4.2 million a year.

Another RAND Corporation study found that annual medical costs for transgender service men and women (which includes hormones, transitional surgery procedures and therapies) would be around $8.4 million, at its maximum.

In comparison, the military spent $84 million on erectile dysfunction medications (Viagra and Cialis) in 2014.

This is another example of the president exaggerating to prove his point.

It is insulting to transgender people and the American public as a whole, to entertain discriminatory policies with not even a sliver of evidence.

Top democratic and republican leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Cory Gardner and celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Jackie Evancho — who sang at Trump’s inauguration and has a transgender sister — have said that the ban is a civil rights violation.

This announcement proves that this administration has a clear vision of undermining the efforts of qualified transgender Americans.

Even though judges blocked the policy, it’s time the president stopped using his power to discriminate against transgender people.