Donald Trump’s unchecked bigotry costs the Department of Homeland Security a qualified and worthy candidate.
On Wednesday, Trump unceremoniously announced on Twitter that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government 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. Thank you.”
The announcement calls transgendered individuals in the military both disruptions and burdens, rather than honorable individuals serving their country.
Trump apparently made the decision to save a House spending bill, because some GOP Congressmen wanted a ban on sex-reassignment surgeries funded by the Pentagon, but GOP leaders wouldn’t give in. Trump decided he would just give in for them.
Trump did not inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff of his decision, leaving top military personnel out of the decision that directly impacts the offices they guide. Chairman General Joseph Dunford said that until Trump’s request had been processed officially by the Secretary of Defense, no changes to the current transgender policy would be considered.
What’s Happening Now:
Besides the fact that Trump’s announcement was a national embarrassment due to the fact that he did not even bother to check if he had the authority to push through the ban without consultation, it is now also costing the country leaders.
John Fluharty was under consideration to be the assistant secretary of partnership and engagement at the Department of Homeland Security, one of the department’s top jobs, and had just completed his interview. The Department has already had trouble getting that empty seat filled.
Fluharty directly named Trump’s decision to ban transgender troops as the reason for his parting from consideration. He said the decision ran directly against his beliefs in diversity.
“As I mentioned in our conversation, I am a strong advocate for diversity, both in the Republican Party and in government,” Fluharty wrote. “The President’s announcement this morning — that he will ban all of those who identify as transgender from military service — runs counter to my deeply held beliefs, and it would be impossible for me to commit to serving the Administration knowing that I would be working against those values.”
Fluharty is an openly gay man, and Trump’s ban on transgender troops is not the only thing that affects Fluharty and the LGBT community. It isn’t even the only thing that is going to severely affect work opportunities for the LGBT community.
On Wednesday, the same day the military ban was announced, the Justice Department quietly filed an amicus brief saying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation; in other words, it is not against the Civil Rights Act to discriminate against gay individuals.
The DOJ claims that this has been “settled for decades” (which, if it has, would mean there wouldn’t have been an investigation after Donald Zarda sued his employer Altitude Express for employment discrimination) and that the courts shouldn’t be deciding if sexual orientation is included, but that Congress could try to make amendments. Human rights and LGBT organizations disagree and believe the courts will decide the act does protect sex sexual orientation.
Oddly, Trump did not seem to want to comment on that particular issue. He was too busy announcing major military decisions over social media.
On the campaign trail, Trump swore he was a friend of the LGBT community, even though his running mate is pro-conversion therapy and his party has been historically bigoted against homosexuality.
All this ban does is prove two things: one, Trump is about as friendly to the LGBT community as he is to CNN, and two, he seriously doesn’t understand the simple steps of government and how decisions are made and announced.