President Trump set off a bipartisan firestorm Wednesday morning by tweeting that the government will not allow transgender people to serve in the military “in any capacity.”In a series of early morning tweets, Trump wrote, After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.Republicans also expressed disappointment and outrage at Trump for posting policy decisions on social media.Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who also serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Trump’s statement unclear and promised that the committee would conduct oversight on the issue of transgender people serving in the military.In a White House press briefing later that day, Sarah Huckabee, the White House press secretary, said that the announcement was “something that the Department of Defense and the White House iwll have to work together on as implementation takes place.”Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) filed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill to block Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from entering the military service.The amendment states that government funds for defense can’t be used to “implement, enforce, or observe any directive” from the president that “bars or restricts the ability of transgender persons to serve in the Armed Forces.”The order, signed by Truman on July 26, 1948, stated, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research group, found that the costs of gender-transition related to health care treatment is “relatively low.”The total cost of medical care for transgender troops would increase health care costs by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in health care expenditures.Transgender reassignment surgery — which not every trans person chooses to undergo — can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars per person to nearly $100,000, depending on how extensive it ias, according to Courtney D’Allaird, founding coordinator for the Genderal and Sexuality Resource Center at the University of Albany, N.Y.“Weren’t we just last year christening the Harvey Milk vessel in the Navy?” D’Allaird said, referring to the 2016 announcement that a Navy supply vessel is being named after the gay rights pioneer of San Francisco.Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a public policy think tank at UC Santa Barbara, said Trump’s announcement would cause discrimination and ultimately harms military readiness.In June 2016, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that transgender individuals would be able to serve in the U.S. armed forces.In June, Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s defense secretary, delayed Carter’s plan to accept transgender troops and to accommodate transgender service members’ medical needs by six months.In February, Trump rescinded federal protections that were implemented for transgender students, allowing them to use bathrooms that coincided with their gender identity.Trump’s tweeted announcement comes about a year after he pledged in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention to protect the rights LGBTQ people.
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Around the Web
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Wednesday Jul 26, 2017
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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will be awarding $5.7 million in grant money to seven organizations to “support professional nonfiction media makers from diverse backgrounds.” The organization says that $2.25 million of that will be re-granted directly to independent film projects over three years, with remaining funds providing support for fellowships, workshops, training […]
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- Lawmaker seeks probe after AP reveals maggots in NY facility
By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press - Saturday Aug 12, 2017
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state lawmaker is demanding a federal investigation into New York state's care for the disabled following a recent Associated Press story that revealed the case of a man infested with maggots in a state-run group home.Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, of Utica, told the AP on Saturday that he is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the group home and other state-regulated facilities for the disabled where there have been allegations of abuse and neglect.A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press, which found that New York state is not alone in making it difficult for members of the public to access records about allegations of abuse and neglect in state-regulated facilities for the disabled.