Transgender military ban reflects Trump’s hateful message

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Alya Mehrtash staff writer

Once again, the Trump administration has found a way to force its hateful, ignorant agenda on the American people.

The Supreme Court upheld a Trump administration policy barring transgender people from serving in the military on Jan. 22. The policy was later shut down in the federal courts, but the legal battle continued to the Supreme Court, resulting in a 5-4 vote allowing the policy to be carried out until more hearings regarding the policy in the lower courts.

Donald Trump claimed that the policy was due to the “tremendous costs” of transgender servicemen and women, insisting that the military needs to put success as its top priority.

This policy, however, is not an effort to ensure military success, but rather to spread Trump’s underlying message of transphobia. In the words of ACLU senior staff attorney Joshua Block, “What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy.”

On July 26, Trump tweeted, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous military costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”


He has made it evident, however, that military success is not his number one priority. His main argument that transgender service members “burden” the military with “tremendous costs” is completely false. According to a 2016 study by the Rand Corporation, the Pentagon spends more money on Viagra than it does on medical services for transgender military members. Surely people are worth more than erectile dysfunction pills, Mr. President.

Additionally, if military success was truly his top priority, then he wouldn’t be declaring a futile national emergency in which he pulls funds from the military in order to build an unnecessary wall along the southern border.

 

Ever since he launched his presidential campaign, Trump has built his presidency on hateful and discriminatory rhetoric, both explicitly and implicitly. Whether it be based on race, religion, gender or sexuality, he has repeatedly targeted marginalized people.

In essence, this policy belittles transgender Americans and potentially discourages members of the LGBTQ+ from coming out. According to a study conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, approximately 44 percent of LGBT youth are not out to their families. Policies that target and ostracize transgender people imply that transgender individuals will not be accepted for who they truly are. By barring them from military service, Trump marginalizes transgender people in society.

It’s not the first time Trump’s done something like this, either. On Jan. 27, 2017, he signed an executive order banning foreigners from seven predominantly Muslim nations from visiting the U.S. for 90 days, and suspending the entry of refugees into the U.S. for up to 120 days. Despite claims that the policy was aimed to prevent terrorism, it was clearly an effort to spread Trump’s xenophobic agenda.

It’s scary to think that as time passes, we as Americans are growing accustomed to such a foolish man holding the most powerful position in the world. It’s scary to think that Americans elected him to hold the power of the presidency in the first place.

What’s also extremely concerning is the fact that the majority of the judges on the Supreme Court, the highest court in our immensely diverse nation, allowed such a close-minded, discriminatory policy to be carried out.

These transgender men and women are Americans who choose to risk their lives for the greater good of our nation and our people. If Trump truly wanted to “Make America Great Again,” he’d reward these patriots for their hard work and their sacrifices for the United States. Rather, he’s stripping them of their right to serve. What’s the logic behind that? It’s clearly not because of funding for the military. The truth is that Trump is simply discriminating against transgender Americans.

As 2020 presidential campaigns are kicking off, people all over the nation must take action against such activity. The most effective way to protest Trump’s despicable work as President of the United States is to vote him out of the Oval Office. That’s why now, more than ever, it’s crucial for Americans to voice their opinions and vote in the upcoming elections. It’s the only way we can truly stop him.

As high schoolers, however, many members of the student body won’t have the right to vote in 2020. That doesn’t have to limit students from voicing their opinions, though. It’s up to us as the future of America to get educated on the true injustices that are being committed in the government. If we fail to do so, we leave our future in the hands of Trump. That’s a terrifying thought, and that is exactly why we can’t let it happen.

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