ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – President Trump’s tweets announcing he will reinstate the ban on transgender people in the U.S. military is getting reactions from a local transgender group. Katie Stuckenschneider is a spokesperson for the group ProMo.
READ: Trump Bans Transgender People from Military
“I think it was a cowardly tweet that was announced to the United States, via Twitter. There was no message before that, it just came out of nowhere,” she says.
Stuckenschneider expects there to be some challenge from the transgender community to the ban, but for now, she’s waiting to find out more about how the policy would be implemented, and how it will affect transgender people already in the military.
Local veterans are also reacting to President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. Some agreed with the ban, but others said they had no problem serving with transgender people.
“Transgender people have something to prove, so once they have the opportunity to prove themselves, America won’t be so biased against them,” one man says.
Others say a person’s military fighting ability depends on the person, not their gender identification.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois says she wasn’t distracted by the idea of transgender people in the military while she was serving.
“When my Blackhawk helicopter was hot down, I didn’t care about the gender identity of the soldiers who were risking their lives to save me, I only cared that they were American troops and that they were there to rescue me,” she says.
Republican Missouri Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler backs the president’s transgender ban, but not because she’s discriminating. She says it’s a health issue.
“These are individuals who have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which could require very costly medical treatment. I had an intern who was denied the ability to go into the military because she had a bunion on her foot, and the argument was that this could cost the military and she may have to go through surgery,” she says.