Opinion: Trump’s transgender military ban sounds eerily like past arguments against integration

Protesters opposed to Trump's proposed ban on transgender people from serving in the military demonstrate in New York on July 26.
(Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: First it was African Americans who were going to “undermine military effectiveness” and “disrupt unit cohesion” if they were fully integrated into the U.S. military. Those worries proved to be misplaced, even if the integration process did not always go smoothly. (“Pentagon to convene panel on implementing Trump’s ban on transgender personnel in U.S. military,” Aug. 30)

Next it was women. Same fears, same result of the sky not falling.

Then it was gays and lesbians. Same fears, same result.

Now we have transgender persons under scrutiny. The old, unfounded arguments are trotted out again, and let’s add in the cost of their medical needs for good measure. That last argument is truly laughable given that Pentagon spending on Viagra far exceeds that for transition-related care.

I think very few transgender people will actually be forced out of the service over this, but the climate of fear and anxiety that President Trump’s order to have them banned has reignited will do lasting harm to our military.


Julie Bixby, Huntington Beach


To the editor: Trump’s ban on transgender individuals is the latest, and among the most hideous, examples of a president who is callous to human dignity, ignorant of the rights of equal protection and due process, and disregardful of those who put their lives on the line for the United States.

Of course, Trump himself never served in any capacity, but he is not above casting fear onto members of the armed forces and their families. Unlike him, they have sacrificed for all of us, yet they now face the potential loss of their own well-being.

America continues to live in discredit because we have a president who knows no shame. All those who turn their heads to our despicable “leader” and do nothing dishonor the country as a whole and, in this case, those transgender persons who care for our safety.

Joseph DeVitis, Rancho Mirage

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