Activists in Michigan are unhappy with President Trump’s tweets Wednesday morning saying transgender people will no longer be allowed to serve in the military.
Trump tweeted, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory, and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical cost and disruption that transgender [people] in the military would entail.”
The decision has been met with backlash from both parties. Senator John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement condemning the tweet, and denouncing Trump’s decision to release new policy on Twitter.
Stephanie White is the executive director of Equality Michigan, an activist group that works to address issues and laws that disproportionately impact LGBTQ people across the state. She said she was disappointed by the President’s tweets.
“The only thing that matters when you’re in the military is if the person to the left and the right of you is willing to die for you and willing to die for their country," said White. "If you have that commitment and that bravery, and you have the skills and training to do the job, then you’re a welcomed member of the team.”
White said the statements are concerning because of the negative perception they may create around transgender people.
“I think one of the most troubling aspects of President Trump’s statement is, when the commander in chief disparages some of his own troops, it really opens the door for other people who are close-minded to be able to also verbally express their discrimination and harassment,” she said.
White House officials had no answer when asked what will happen to transgender troops who are currently deployed.