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Trump: Transgender people ‘can’t serve’ in US military
US President Donald Trump says transgender people cannot serve in “any capacity” in the military. (Transgender: A person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex at birth.)
He tweeted that he had consulted with military experts and cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption“. (Disruption: A radical change; A forcible disruption of something into parts.)
The Obama administration decided last year to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military.
But in June, Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.
As is often the case, the announcement came in a series of tweets.
Mr Trump said: “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.
“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.” (Decisive: Crucial, Important, Determined.)
(Overwhelm: Overpower or Overcome or Destroy – a mind, feeling or physical thing.)
(Entail: To involve or impose something as a burden.)
But the measure will not go into effect immediately.
The Pentagon says: “We will provide revised guidance to the department in the near future.”
The timing of this transgender ban is almost as interesting as the move itself.
Why now? With the Trump administration being buffeted by the Jeff Sessions political death watch, the ongoing multi-prong investigation into the Trump campaign, the healthcare drama in the Senate and the impending Russian sanctions bill, perhaps the administration decided this was a good time to change the subject and rally conservative forces to his side. (Buffeted: To strike or push repeatedly.)
Republicans have long used cultural issues as a wedge to divide Democrats and energise evangelicals. As one White House insider acknowledged, this is straight out of that playbook. While Mr Trump campaigned as sympathetic to LGBT rights, he needs the traditional religious conservatives to stay loyal to him now, more than ever. (Evangelicals: Those who are devoted to the cause of Christianity.)
(Wedge: To separate or split)
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