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Saturday, July 29, 2017


Apparently I'm not the only one who was infuriated by Trump's "policy statement" via tweet about transgender servicemembers. There've been more negative reactions in addition to the ones I reported the other day.

First, Americans at large (via Joe.My.God.):

A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday.

The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces.

When asked to weigh in on the debate, 58 percent of adults agreed with the statement, “Transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military.” Twenty-seven percent said they should not while the rest answered “don’t know.”

From a group of Senators. From WaPo via Joe.My.God.:

A bloc of 45 U.S. senators is asking the Pentagon not to discharge any transgender service members until the Defense Department completes an ongoing review of whether they should be able to continue serving in uniform. The letter holds no legal sway over the Pentagon and lawmakers cannot stop President Trump from carrying out his stated intention to ban transgender people from serving in uniform, but the letter puts almost half of the U.S. Senate on record as opposing the surprise announcement.

And a group of state attorneys general, who want Congress to cut Trump off at the knees (not that that will ever happen):

The top legal officers in 18 states and the District of Columbia have asked Congress to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against transgender service members.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin sent the letter dated Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement, via Twitter a day earlier, that he would ban transgender people in the military.

The letter asks the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees to reaffirm in legislation that transgender people may not be banned from serving in the military. It urges lawmakers to include transgender protections in the National Defense Authorization Act. Eighteen other attorneys general, who like Chin are all Democrats, also signed the document.

(Sidebar: Yes, Lisa Madigan, Illinois' AG, signed. And both of Illinois' senators signed the letter from Kirsten Gillibrand noted above. Just so you know.)

And it looks like Trump may have made some positions in his administration harder to fill:

A former executive director of the Delaware Republican party has notified the Dept. of Homeland Security that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for a senior position in direct response to President Trump's announced ban on military service members who are transgender. John Fluharty had been interviewing to be DHS's assistant secretary of partnership and engagement.

“As I mentioned in our conversation, I am a strong advocate for diversity, both in the Republican Party and in government,” Fluharty wrote in an email to DHS, as Politico reports. “The President’s announcement this morning — that he will ban all of those who identify as transgender from military service — runs counter to my deeply held beliefs, and it would be impossible for me to commit to serving the Administration knowing that I would be working against those values.”

And just a note, in case I haven't mentioned it before: you don't get support from your generals if you don't keep them in the loop:

Late Thursday morning Reuters broke a story quoting the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who said in a memo that there will be no changes to U.S. policy on transgender service members until he receives explicit direction from the Commander-in-Chief.

Also late Thursday morning, USA TODAY reported Vice Admiral Robert Burke, the Chief of Naval Personnel, sent an email stating transgender service members can continue on as usual, at least for now.

USA TODAY obtained the email and reports the "Navy will not immediately discharge transgender sailors and will continue to provide them with medical treatment despite the tweets fired off by President Trump on Wednesday."

Way to go, Donnie.

Footnote: Interesting article in Air Force Times about some of the serving transgender personnel. Worth reading.

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