Social media reacts to President Trump's announcement to ban transgender people serving in the military

By Julie Mazziotta
July 26, 2017 10:45 AM
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President Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets that transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the military, and Twitter users are reacting.

Trump wrote in three tweets that the military “must be focused” and “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Caitlyn Jenner called out Trump for going back on his promise to help LGBT Americans.

Jenner, a longtime republican, told PEOPLE in April that she stands with the LGBT community over her political party.

“My loyalties and my fights are not going to be with the Republican party. My loyalties are with my community and fighting for my community.”

U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning called the move, “cowardice.”

Writer and transgender activist Janet Mock, who transitioned in her teens, said it was “trolling at its finest.”

Several members of Congress are speaking out against the ban, including former service members.

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in the Iraq war, said in a statement that all people should be able to serve.

“When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else,” Duckworth says. “All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind. If you’re willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve — no matter your gender identity, sexual orientation or race. Anything else is discriminatory and counterproductive to our national security.”

Ruben Gallego, the representative for Arizona’s 7th district and an Iraqi war veteran called the decision “discriminatory”

Republican senator Orrin Hatch voiced his support for LGBT people.

Massachusetts senator Ed Markey said transgender service members are “dedicated patriots.”

Actor George Takei called Trump the “stupidest, most incompetent president ever.”

And other celebrities decried the move.

The American Civil Liberties Union is encouraging transgender service members to contact the organization.

“Thousands of trans service-members on the front lines deserve better from their commander-in-chief, @realDonaldTrump. Contact the ACLU.”

Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU and Gavin Grimm’s lawyer, also offered help.

The Anne Frank Center released a statement “denouncing” Trump’s decision.

The ban puts a previous restriction on transgender people serving in the military that was lifted in June 2016.

“Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission,” then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said, according to the LA Times. “We have to have access to 100 percent of America’s population for our all-volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified — and to retain them.”

Carter reiterated his belief to NBC News on Wednesday morning that the most qualified people should be serving, regardless of demographics.

“To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military,” Carter says.