Editorial: Trump puts transgender rights in peril

by Daily Editorial Board

On July 27, President Donald Trump issued an order to ban all transgender people from the military. In a tweet, President Trump questioned the military readiness of transgender troops. Fortunately, this wasn’t interpreted as a legitimate directive by either the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or senior officials in our national security apparatus. However, Trump’s willingness to crassly object to a policy that has promoted gender diversity in the military is staggering, and points to the systemic issue of gender discrimination, specifically against those who are transgender and part of the LGBT community.

The policy, initially put in place by President Barack Obama, was called into review by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who halted the expected implementation of the inclusion policy.

While changing policy directives from the Oval Office may prove to be impossible, our campus should do more to ensure a more inclusive atmosphere. The University of Minnesota has many opportunities and resources to build inclusion, like the Queer Students Cultural Center.

It’s also important not to generalize views from Trump’s office. The dissenting opinions against the implementation of such a policy should indicate that there are important allies in the military that support transgender rights and respect the service of currently serving transgender military personnel and veterans. Though the military has a history of discrimination, we ought to capitalize on change and progress in addition to demanding improvements.