(CN) – President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to announce the United States will not “allow or accept” any transgender individuals in the military.
In a series of tweets Trump said, “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.
Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.
Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe-SLDN, which represents the LGBT population in the military, told the Associated Press that thousands have been serving in the U.S. armed forces without causing any issues.
“It’s an absolute absurdity and another overstep,” Thorn said. He threatened legal action if Wednesday’s decision is not reversed.
Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project, also blasted Trump’s decision, calling it “an outrageous and desperate action.” ”
The thousands of transgender service members serving on the front lines for this country deserve better than a commander-in-chief who rejects their basic humanity,” Block said.
“Let us be clear. This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country,” he continued. “The president is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country.
“There is no basis for turning trans people away from our military and the ACLU is examining all of our options on how to fight this. For any trans service member affected by today’s announcement: Please get in touch with us, because we want to hear from you,” Blcok said.
Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, director of the Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project, National LGBTQ Task Force, said Trump “has stood against the trans community with this decision and is harming lives for the sake of political gains.”
“The military is often the last resort for people who can’t find jobs because of discrimination,” Rodriguez-Roldan said.
She said the transgender community “will not stop fighting” for justice.