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Transgender groups respond to President’s ban on military service

82nd Sustainment Brigade

Transgender people have been banned from serving in the military.

The change was announced Wednesday in a series of tweets by President Donald Trump. The move reinstates a ban on Transgender military service members that was lifted just last year by the Obama administration.

In his tweets the President cited expensive medical care and disruption as the reason for his decision.

Jay Kaplan is with the ACLU of Michigan. He said there just isn’t merit to the argument that transgender people cost the military too much.

“The Pentagon commissioned a study by the Rand Association, which is a nonpartisan study, and it showed that the actual costs in terms of transgender health care would be about 8 million dollars a year which is a drop in the bucket compared to other medical costs.”

Rachel Crandall is the executive director of Transgender Michigan. She said the reinstated ban feels like a step back.

“What about all those people who are trans who are currently in the military who came out thinking it was safe. What’s going to happen with them?”

Crandall said the ban cannot remain in effect.

“I want to say that my community and all of our allies have to keep on fighting. We have to protest this.”

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee said transgender rights shouldn’t be political.

“I think there are certain issues that transcend politics and one of them should be equality. Especially when we’re talking about equality of access to serve the country.”

Kildee said as yet it is not clear how the ban will impact benefits, medical care, or the status of transgender service people.