WASHINGTON, D.C (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump announced his administration is barring transgender people from serving in the military.
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, causing an uproar in the LGBTQ community.
Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann’s 11-year career in the Navy is in jeopardy.
“We are service members first and transgender people second,” said advocated Lt. Commander Blake Dremann.
Dremann – who has been deployed 11 times – has been serving as a man for the past three years but Wednesday morning, President Trump announced in a series of tweets that the government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve “in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
The president gave as his reason – the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
“This was about military readiness, this was about unit cohesion, this was about resources within the military,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Dremann called the decision surprising and disappointing.
“Transgender people are already serving in various aspects of the military and they show no impact to readiness or the lethality of our mission,” said Dremann.
The Defense Department lifted the ban last year under the Obama administration.
Plans to allow transgender people to enlist were supposed to go into effect in July, but Defense Secretary James Mattis recently gave his military chiefs a six-month delay.
The Pentagon won’t release numbers but a Rand study found there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military and up to 4,000 in the reserves.
“The president’s allegations of tremendous, tremendous medical costs are a bold-faced lie,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The Pentagon says it is working with the White House and will provide revised guidance in the near future.
Some Conservative organizations and lawmakers hailed the decision.
Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa said, “we don’t need to be experimenting with the military.”
Right now there is no word on what will happen to those currently serving. The Pentagon referred all questions about the president’s statements to the White House and said it will provide revised guidance in the near future.
The ACLU released a statement calling the decision “outrageous and desperate” and said it is examining its options.