Trans­gen­der, ex-navy rabbi ‘ap­palled’ by Trump ban

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

A RABBI who served in US Navy has hit out at Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ban on trans­gen­der peo­ple from the mil­i­tary.

Rona Mat­low, who is her­self trans­gen­der, spent 22 years in the navy and worked as an en­gi­neer on its nu­clear pro­gramme be­fore leav­ing the forces and get­ting or­dained as a rabbi.

Then, two years ago, Rona, who was pre­vi­ously called Jaron, be­gan to ad­dress her gen­der dys­pho­ria and de­cided to tran­si­tion.

She told the JTA she was “ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated and fu­ri­ous” about the ban, which Mr Trump an­nounced on Twit­ter.

She added: “Im­me­di­ately I was very wor­ried about the 15,000 ac­tive duty trans per­son­nel that are cur­rently serv­ing in the mil­i­tary. I have talked to ser­vice mem­bers with 19-plus years of ser­vice who would be kicked out of the mil­i­tary with­out a pen­sion.

“It costs well over $1m to train a pi­lot. Kick­ing th­ese peo­ple out is in­cred­i­bly more costly than keep­ing them in.”

Ms Mat­low, a mem­ber of Jewish War Vet­er­ans of the USA, said she was happy to see the Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen­eral Joe Dun­ford, and Sec­re­tary of De­fence James Mat­tis, main­tain their sup­port for all ser­vice per­son­nel de­spite Mr Trump’s state­ment on the ban last Wed­nes­day.

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