Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus bashed President Trump’s move to prevent transgender individuals from serving in the military, as the president’s effort hits the one-year mark.
“That strikes me as the dumbest government policy you could possibly pursue and it weakens us and hurts our military,” Mabus said Thursday evening at the Veterans in Global Leadership event in Washington, D.C. Trump in July 2017 abruptly announced on Twitter that he would ban transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. military.
The Obama administration had ordered the military to begin allowing transgender troops to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces, with a year of review beforehand — during which Trump made his announcement.
Mabus, who served as head of the Navy under former President Obama from 2009 to 2017, said in the year the Pentagon looked at the effect, cost and impact on the military in allowing transgender service, the conclusion was that “overall it would be a positive thing.”
“To have that reversed in a tweet with no evidence, no thought, nothing, it’s breaking faith with the people who are willing to serve,” he said.
The administration’s transgender ban has been blocked from taking effect while it is debated in multiple courts. Transgender people may continue to enlist in the military until the opposing parties go to trial, expected in April 2019. Mabus, who was known for his progressive stance while Navy secretary, pushed for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy applying to sexuality in the military and opened all jobs to women.
“I have this notion, that if you can do a job, the only qualification to get that job ought to be the ability to do the job. Color or race or ethnicity or gender or who you love, or what your sexual identity is ought to be irrelevant. Who cares?” he said.
Here’s more on the ban.