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Atheists Condemn Trump’s Anti-Trans Military Policy

Cranford, NJ—In response to a series of tweets from President Donald Trump declaring that trans military service members would be banned from serving “in any capacity in the U.S. military,” American Atheists President David Silverman released the following statement:

The President is attacking trans members of our nation’s military, men and women who are already serving openly and bravely, as a way of shoring up his support among anti-equality religious bigots. This is a purely partisan decision that has no basis in fact or reality.

Despite the President’s assertions, the Department of Defense and military leaders have affirmed that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military has no impact on readiness and almost no added financial cost.

That President Trump would expel thousands dedicated, brave, and patriotic Americans who want to serve their country as a way to appease religious extremists speaks volumes. Using transgender service members as a political football is cruel and disgusting.

President Trump’s tweets announcing the change are below.

Contrary to the President’s claim of “tremendous medical costs,” the RAND Corporation estimated that allowing trans service members to receive gender transition-related health coverage would cost “between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures.”

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in June that there was no issue with currently serving transgender service members and that their ability to continue to serve would not be impacted by any future changes to military policy. The President’s statement that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in any capacity is at odds with Gen. Dunford’s previous statement.