Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) slammed President Trump’s Twitter announcement that he will ban the service of transgender individuals in the U.S. military and filed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill to block it. Rep. Peters released the following statement:
“I can’t think of anything more backwards than turning away a brave, qualified American who wants to serve in our all-volunteer military because of their gender identity.
“There are already thousands of transgender Americans serving honorably and openly in our Armed Forces. There is a former member of SEAL Team 6 – the most elite military unit in history – that came out as transgender.
“Just as we did with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Congress must stand up against backwards politics, trust our military leaders, and put national security first.”
According to a RAND study commissioned by the Pentagon, there are already between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender individuals serving on active duty in the U.S. military. It is not clear how those service members will be treated under this new policy. The study also found that lifting that ban on the enlistment of transgender Americans would have a negligible impact on readiness, and no significant effect on cohesion or effectiveness.