While it is not completely clear what Trump’s actual policy is on transgender troops in the U.S. Armed Forces, his recent comments have raised some eyebrows.
The following question was asked of Trump at an American Warrior PAC event: “Under this administration this ethos has been under attack and in some cases undermined by the forces of political correctness – the military has become an institution for social experiments, and as a result the military has undergone a number of changes to regulations with regards to women in combat, transgender rights and other issues. None of these PC actions were combat-effective or readiness driven. In fact, the opposite is happening. Deployability, readiness and morale are all adversely affected. What will you do about the social engineering and political correctness that’s been imposed on our military?”
In response to the question, Trump said: “We’re going to get away from political correctness – we are gonna have to do that….‘You’re right, we have a politically correct military and it’s getting more and more politically correct every day and lot of the great people in this room don’t even understand how it’s possible to do that. And that’s through intelligence, not through ignorance, believe me…. Some of the things they’re asking you to do and be politically correct about are ridiculous. I will say, I would leave many of the decisions of some of the things you mentioned to the generals, the admirals, the people on top. We’d get our military people to come back and make recommendations to me and I will follow those recommendations. I will follow them very strongly.”
So while Donald may not have come out and explicitly said that he would reverse policy related to transgender troops, Trump sure sounded like he would do just this with his comments on political correctness. In fact, after hearing Trump’s response, the Human Rights Campaign issued the below statement:
“Allowing transgender people to serve their country isn’t about politics, it’s about extending them the respect and dignity every service member deserves. This is yet another example of the grave threat that Donald Trump and Mike Pence pose to LGBTI Americans…. According to the Williams Institute, there are approximately 15,500 actively serving transgender members in the US military, making the Department of Defense (DOD) the largest employer of transgender people in America. The ban on transgender military service was just policy and required only action by the DOD to update. That action could be reversed by a Trump administration. Donald Trump’s comments today are a reminder that he puts at risk all the gains made by the LGBTI community over the last eight years.”