Donald Trump vows to restore trans military ban if re-elected in 2024

Former US president Donald Trump wears a blue jacket with a red tie

Donald Trump has promised to restore his ban on transgender people serving in the US military if he is re-elected in 2024. 

The ban, implemented by Trump in 2019 and overturned by president Joe Biden in 2021, prevented transgender people from serving in the US military, a policy which was described as “harmful” and “backwards”. 

Despite widespread condemnation of the ban while he was in the White House, Trump vowed that if re-elected, he will crack down on “radical gender experiments” and “tremendous drug therapy” for trans service members. 

“I will ban the Department of Veterans Affairs from wasting a single cent to fund transgender surgeries or sex-change procedures,” he told a crowd in New Hampshire on Tuesday (8 August).

“Those precious taxpayer dollars should be going to care for our veterans in need, not to refund radical gender experiments for the communist left. I’ll also restore the ban on transgender in the military… We had it banned, we had it banned.”

In a bizarre impersonation of a general, Trump, who in recent months has denied 78 felonies across three criminal cases, asked: “What do you think of transgender?” before answering, “Uh, I don’t like it, sir.” 

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The former president’s ban on trans people serving in the military was heavily criticised when it was pushed through, with service members describing the law as a “shameful chapter” in the country’s history.

When the ban was overturned, long-serving staff sergeant Cathrine Schmid told PinkNews: “This is a significant and hopeful moment for our country. 

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“Over the past three years, we’ve fought to prove that transgender people are not a burden, a hindrance, or a distraction. We are an equal and contributing part of this society just as much as any other group, and this development vindicates that basic principle.

“This isn’t simply about our place in the military, or my place in my unit. It’s about our right to be treated as co-equal members of society. This harmful and backwards policy will now be put where it belongs: in a very short, shameful chapter of US military history.”

In 2021, Alphonso David, who was the president of the Human Rights Campaign at the time, said: “The government will begin the process to eliminate an arbitrary and discriminatory executive action that has not only harmed transgender service members but our entire military. 

“The greatest military in the world will again value readiness over bias, and qualifications over discrimination.”

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