Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives serving Hudson Valley communities, Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) and Nita Lowey (D-Harrison), are speaking out against President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender people from serving in the armed forces.
What do you think of President Trump's decision not to allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military?
"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," Trump tweeted. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
Then-president Barack Obama allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military last year.
In criticizing Trump's ban, Maloney used examples of transgendered people who have served in the military, including Kristin Beck, who was on Seal Team 6 and received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
"Anyone who doubts their abilities should talk to Riley Dosh who is being denied a commission after graduating from West Point," Maloney said. "Anyone who doubts their bravery should tell Shane Ortega, who ran over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Transgender people have served well and honorably and any suggestion otherwise is just prejudice.
Lowey called the Trump ban "misguided" and "hateful" and said it was an insult to the valor and heroism of every American in uniform.
“Gender identity has nothing to do with qualifications to serve," Lowey said. "The world is a dangerous place, and forcing out thousands of highly-trained, highly-skilled American troops would undermine both our readiness and national security."
Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) said he was waiting to hear from the Department of Defense.
"The qualification of any citizen to serve in the military should be compatible with the demands of the military and should not impede its ability to remain ready to face the immense challenges throughout the world," Faso said.
According to a 2016 study, between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serve in active duty while between 830 and 4,160 people are on active duty.
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