President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender persons will be banned from serving in the United States military “in any capacity” this morning. Log Cabin Republican president Gregory Angelo reached out to his contacts in the White House after seeing the tweets and asked for more information. They disclosed that this was as much a surprise to them as it was to him.
The Log Cabin Republicans are a nationwide organization of LGBT conservatives, representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Angelo told Mike Opelka on today’s “Pure Opelka” that the Pentagon had decided to delay implementation of the Obama-era admittance of transgender persons to the military by six months. He believed this was simply because there is a new administration and a new Secretary of Defense in General James Mattis. He did not read too much into the delay.
The tweets, however, raised a number of questions for LGBT people. “Who had the president’s ear?” Angelo asked. The Pentagon and the Department of Defense, he said, would have the greatest knowledge of the impact transgender people would have on the readiness and effectiveness of the military. If Trump tweeted this ban without consulting them, “The only reason that one would do that is politics,” he posited.
The other issue stems from the words “in any capacity.” Angelo asked, are they not even “qualified to 'fly a desk,' as my father might say?” He said if a transgender person, 15,000 of which he reported currently serve, can meet the physical requirements, gender identity should not be an issue.
Remarking that these service persons have put their lives on the line for their country, Mike asked, “Who are we to deny their service?”