A press release from One Colorado, the state’s principal LGBT advocacy group, slams an announcement via Twitter today from President Donald Trump, apparently barring transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military:
One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families released the following statement from Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, on President Trump’s announcement that transgender people can no longer serve in the U.S. Military.
“President Trump just attacked thousands of patriotic transgender Americans who already serve in our military and who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and free. The U.S. military is the largest employer of transgender people in the world, employing an estimated 15,000 transgender people today.
“This is yet another example of the Trump Administration attacking the most vulnerable among us instead of bringing Americans together to fix the problems that face all of us. Transgender people — like all Americans — should be judged for their qualifications, nothing more, nothing less. As we learned in repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing service members to serve with integrity strengthens our armed forces.
“Our veterans and military deserve better and we will fight against this vicious attack on dignity and equality. Transgender people are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They are veterans who have served with honor, and active duty service members who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms. When it comes to being able to serve their country, earn a living, having a place to live, or being served by a business, transgender people should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against.”
And as the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports, arch-conservative Rep. Ken Buck, a consistent Trump defender, is not happy with this decision:
Colorado Congressman Ken Buck, a Republican, pushed back against President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday morning to bar transgender people from serving in the military “in any capacity.”
“America needs a military comprised of patriots willing to sacrifice for this country,” Buck, who represents Weld County and the Eastern Plains, said in a written statement to The Denver Post. “Any American who is physically and emotionally qualified should be allowed to serve.”
Buck, who led the high-profile Greeley hate-crime prosecution of the the killer of transgender woman Angie Zapata, was one of several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation to weigh in following Trump’s Twitter posts Wednesday morning.
In a statement, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs is supporting Trump, saying “there are too many unanswered medical, housing, readiness, and deployment questions to allow the previous policies of the Obama administration to continue.” That’s the only clear support we’ve seen from any elected official in Colorado, though others have yet to weigh in. As for Rep. Buck, it’s believed that his experience in the high-profile 2009 trial of the murderer of Greeley transgender woman Angie Zapata genuinely affected him, and made him more tolerant in the specific case of transgender people.
Obviously, this is a major setback for Trump’s not-insignificant number of defenders in the LGBT community–and we expect the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump will have even more trouble explaining this, like so many other things her dad has said and done, to her socially liberal wealthy friends in NYC. With all of the very real problems besetting the Trump administration today, there’s only one reason why Trump would voluntarily open himself to this whole new line of fully avoidable criticism.
It’s petty and mean-spirited, but it’s also a distraction.