LGBT out­rage over Trump ban on trans­gen­der mil­i­tary ser­vice

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Most LGBT-rights ac­tivists never be­lieved Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign prom­ises to be their friend. But with his move Wed­nes­day to ban trans­gen­der peo­ple from mil­i­tary ser­vice, on top of other ac­tions and ap­point­ments, they now see him as openly hos­tile.

Lead­ers of ma­jor ad­vo­cacy groups de­picted Trump’s Twit­ter pro­nounce­ment as an ap­peal to the por­tion of his con­ser­va­tive base that op­poses the re­cent civil-rights gains by the LGBT com­mu­nity.

“His ad­min­is­tra­tion will stop at noth­ing to im­ple­ment its anti-LGBTQ ide­ol­ogy within our gov­ern­ment _ even if it means deny­ing some of our bravest Amer­i­cans the right to serve and pro­tect our na­tion,’’ said Sarah Kate El­lis, pres­i­dent of the LGBT-rights group GLAAD.

Trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers have been able to serve openly since last year, af­ter a move by then-De­fence Sec­re­tary Ash Carter. Trump’s vow to end that pol­icy was the lat­est, and per­haps the most sting­ing, of a string of ac­tions since his elec­tion that have dis­mayed sup­port­ers of LGBT rights. Some ex­am­ples:

— The ad­min­is­tra­tion re­scinded fed­eral guid­ance ad­vis­ing school dis­tricts to let trans­gen­der stu­dents use the bath­rooms and locker rooms of their choice. It said state and lo­cal of­fi­cials should de­cide the is­sue.

— Sev­eral of Trump’s high-level ap­pointees have solid records as op­po­nents of LGBT-rights ad­vances, in­clud­ing Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, and Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Tom Price.

— At Trump’s di­rec­tion, Ses­sions is de­vel­op­ing new guid­ance on re­li­gious lib­erty for fed­eral agen­cies that is ex­pected to make it eas­ier for peo­ple with re­li­gious ob­jec­tions to refuse to rec­og­nize LGBT rights.

— Six mem­bers of the Pres­i­den­tial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on HIV/AIDS re­signed, as­sert­ing that Trump “sim­ply does not care’’ about com­bat­ing HIV and AIDS as it con­tin­ues to be­set the LGBT com­mu­nity.

The Hu­man Rights Cam­paign, a na­tional LGBT-rights group, de­picted Trump’s ear­ly­morn­ing tweets Wed­nes­day as a “heinous and dis­gust­ing’’ at­tack on trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers.

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