Washington, July 27 (IANS) Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in New York City, Washington, San Francisco and Portland to protest President Donald Trump’s ban on transgenders in the US military.
The protests came just hours after Trump announced the ban on Twitter on Wednesday.
“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the US government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military,” tweeted the President, who said on the campaign trail that he supported the rights of LGBTQ Americans.
“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. Thank you.”
More than a hundred people gathered at the White House. They included transgender service members and veterans who said they were “shocked and angry”, ABC News reported.
“I was actually really shocked and angry, I don’t know how he came to that conclusion so fast,” said Kara Zajac, a transgender woman and a navy veteran.
The demonstrators carried anti-Trump signs and faced the White House as they chanted “Trans rights are human rights”.
Major Kimberly Moore, a transgender woman who served in the army for 20 years, said it’s “disgusting” that the country isn’t protecting the rights of its transgender citizens.
“The previous administration came up with a sensible plan for allowing transgender people to openly serve and that plan needs to be openly respected,” said Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Director of External Relations for the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Hundreds of protesters, many carrying signs that read “Resist!” descended upon the US Armed Forces recruiting station in Times Square to denounce the ban, acording to reports.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered at San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza — named after gay rights icon and the country’s first openly-gay elected official Harvey Bernard Milk — and urged people to “stand up” and “fight back”.
Some demonstrators waved pink and blue flags. Protesters also gathered at the Los Angeles LGBT Centre in Hollywood. Some carried signs that read “Proud Trans Vet” and “LGBT Solidarity”.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California said it will sue the Trump administration to stop the ban if it actually becomes a policy.
Senator Scott Weiner called Trump’s announcement a “bigoted move”.
Republican Senator John McCain said: “The President’s tweet regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.”
“We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so,” he added.