President Trump decided to add another item to the news cycle Wednesday and reverse another Obama-era policy when he tweeted that “after consultation with my Generals and military experts,” transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in or join the U.S. military. Reports are already surfacing that the decision was a political one, not strategic, pushed by Vice President Mike Pence. Needless to say, the announcement was unexpected.
Trump’s receiving plenty of criticism already, especially considering his own lack of military service, but one of the most forceful rebukes has come from transgender activist and former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck.
Beck, born Christopher, served in the Navy for 20 years and eventually joined the elite SEAL Team 6 on missions in several continents. She received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during her Naval career. “Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,” she said to Business Insider. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”
Beck continued, saying that many current service people or ones looking to join could be affected. According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, over 15,000 active military personnel are transgender and another 130,000-plus are veterans.
“Being transgender doesn’t affect anyone else,” Beck said. “We are liberty’s light. If you can’t defend that for everyone that’s an American citizen, that’s not right.”
In his tweets, Trump noted the amount of money that the military would save by not having to worry about transgender service people’s medical costs. “You’re talking about .000001% of the military budget,” Beck said. “The money is negligible.”
“They care more about the airplane or the tank than they care about people,” Beck said. “They don’t care about people. They don’t care about human beings.”
(Via Business Insider)