Caribbean American legislator denounces Trump’s transgender ban

Author:  Edited from CMC
  NEW YORK – Caribbean American legislator Jumaane Williams has denounced President Donald Trump’s abrupt ban on transgender people serving in the United States military.

Williams Jumaane“This is yet another instance of Number 45 (45th U.S. president) moving the country not only in the wrong direction, but also in a regressive one,” Williams, a New York City councilman, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“An American’s personal identity should not be one that disqualifies him or her from service to their country,” added Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants..

“This discriminatory line of thinking and action has been a constant throughout Number 45’s presidency. Truth be told, this open prejudice against our transgender brothers and sisters is one part of a much larger problem that few are focusing on.

“This year alone, 15 transgender women of color have been murdered and no one is talking about this,” said Williams, deputy leader of New York City Council.

HOSTILITY

According to Williams, under the current administration in the U.S., “the climate is one that encourages hostility against not only transgender Americans, but also Muslims, women and immigrants.

“For those who want to sit on the sidelines when it comes to transgender discrimination, I say emphatically that we cannot sit idly by as Number 45 attacks Americans,” he said.

“If we do, it is only a matter of time until someone you care for becomes Trump’s next target. You cannot hate neatly. This type of discrimination against one group of human beings paves the way for discrimination against all groups. Stand and resist even when it’s not your group. Stand and resist especially when it’s not your group.”

BLINDSIDED

In his announcement last month via Twitter, Trump blindsided his defense secretary and Republican congressional leaders with a snap decision that reversed a year-old policy reviled by social conservatives.

Trump made the declaration on Twitter, saying that American forces could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members. He claimed he had consulted generals and military experts. However, Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, was given only a day’s notice about the decision.

The New York Times newspaper said the president elected to announce the ban in order to resolve a quietly brewing fight on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members.

A RAND Corporation commissioned by the Pentagon said 2,000 to 11,000 active-duty troops are transgender, although estimates of the number of transgender service members have varied widely, and are sometimes as high as 15,000.

The study found that allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military would “have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs” for the Pentagon.

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