Washington, D.C. – AUF Senior Advisor Tyler Deaton responded to President Trump’s tweets this morning to ban transgender service members from the military:
President Trump promised to protect the transgender community. As President, he said he was “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights” and would “protect the community from violence and oppression.” But President Trump has broken his promise and, coupled with his administration’s efforts to roll back protections for transgender students in our nation’s public schools, he is developing an undeniable pattern of anti-gay and anti-transgender policy while in office.
With bipartisan support, Congress repealed the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2010. Military and civilian leaders at the Pentagon developed and continue to support the current policies for open transgender military service. Republican icon and U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater once said, “You don’t need to be ‘straight’ to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.”
Goldwater’s remarks are important to remember today. In America’s all-volunteer armed forces, all that is required is bravery, loyalty, and the ability to carry out your orders. If someone is ready, willing, and able to lay down their life and heroically protect our great country, then it should not matter who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
If President Trump actually pursues a policy similar to the idea vaguely outlined in his tweets this morning, he would be disregarding Congress, the Joint Chiefs, and the Pentagon. He will draw himself into yet another round of losing lawsuits stretching across the country. Most importantly, he will harm patriotic transgender Americans, who are on the frontlines at this very moment destroying our enemies and protecting our freedom.
As conservatives and advocates for LGBTQ freedom, AUF calls on President Trump to reconsider his comments, and stand with all of our soldiers, including those who are transgender.