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Michigan delegates react to Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from military

Jul 26, 2017

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that the government “will not accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve in United States military.

This reinstates the ban on transgender people serving in the military, which former-President Obama lifted in 2016.

A 2016 Rand Corporation study estimated that there are over 6,000 transgender Americans currently in the military, and that not all of those individuals will seek gender transition health care. The New England Journal of Medicine puts the number closer to 13,000.

The Rand study also found that that extending gender transition-related care to military personnel would result in “a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures.”

This sudden announcement by the president has drawn both support and opposition, with even some Republicans objecting to the move. Although some in Congress agree with the president’s reasoning, others are asking why the government would turn away anyone who wishes to serve.

Statements from Michigan’s Congressional Delegation

Rep. Justin Amash (R - Cascade Twp.)

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Rep. Jack Bergman (R - Watersmeet)

“Today President’s Trump’s decision to not fund elective transgender surgery reinforces my confidence in this administration’s focus on, and commitment to, military readiness. Secretary Mattis will do his job. Congress can now focus on theirs.”

Rep. Mike Bishop (R - Rochester)

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Rep. John Conyers (D - Detroit)

“The brave men and women who protect our Nation should be honored for their courage. The gender that a person identifies with should not preclude them from serving their country—and those who fight for freedom should not have their rights casually ripped away by those who have not.  As a Veteran, I can say first hand that I’ve always believed that the ability of a person to successfully complete the mission should be the first and foremost qualification to being part of our Armed Forces.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D - Dearborn)

“Our military is stronger because of LGBT individuals who bravely stepped forward to serve this country in uniform. President Trump’s sudden cruel and discriminatory ban is an affront to these courageous individuals that will undermine the strength of our troops and the nation they defend.”

Rep. Bill Huizinga (R - Zeeland)

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Rep. Dan Kildee (D - Flint Twp.)

“The President’s ban on transgender service members undermines our military’s readiness and is a slap in the face to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military. Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe.”

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D - Southfield)

Rep. Sander Levin (D - Royal Oak)

“We should welcome all Americans who want to serve their country – no matter their race, religion, sexuality, or gender identity. This misguided decision by the President, handed down in the most casual way, is an insult to patriotic transgender men and women who put their lives on the line serving their country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R - Thomas Twp.)

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Rep. John Moolenaar (R - Midland)

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Sen. Gary Peters (D)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)

A spokesman for Sen. Stabenow said:

“The Trump administration is playing politics with our nation's military and trying to distract from the important health care debate happening in Congress. Senator Stabenow believes men and women bravely serve in our military and should be able to do so, no matter their identity.”

Rep. Dave Trott (R - Birmingham)

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Rep. Fred Upton (R - St. Joseph)

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Rep. Tim Walberg (R - Tipton)

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This post has been updated to include new statements as they come in.