President Trump took to twitter Wednesday morning to reinstate a ban on transgender service members serving in the U.S. military. Reactions from lawmakers came from all across the political spectrum to speak out against the tweets.
Sen. John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposed President Trump taking to Twitter to reinstate the ban, saying the announcement by the President was “unclear”.
“The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are,” McCain said in a statement that was also posted to twitter.
McCain added that a study was being conducted by the Department of Defense on transgender troops serving openly and that any decision before the Secretary of Defense, military leadership, and Congress has had a chance to review the report is inappropriate.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA., who also serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, tweeted “The only thing—only thing—that matters when it comes to allowing military personnel to serve is whether or nor they can handle the job.”
She went on to say “By attacking thousands of troops, @realDonaldTrump makes clear that he cares more about extreme ideology than military readiness.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah said he doesn’t think “we should be discriminating against anyone.”
Hatch, who scores 92 with the American Conservative Union, was asked by Utah Indivisible via twitter if they stand with transgender Utahns. At the time of publication, Hatch was the only member of Utah’s Congressional delegation to respond to the inquiry, and responded with a “yes”.
In a statement, Hatch went on to say “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders on the policy the President tweeted today.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who served in Iraq, took a more personal stance tweeting “When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, I didn’t care about the gender identity of the Soldiers who were risking their lives to save me.” She went on to say “I only cared that they were American troops—and that they were there to rescue me.”
Duckworth lost her legs in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2004, when the Black Hawk she was traveling in was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.