Mayor Kenney, LGBT Activists Push Back Against Transgender Military Ban

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Kenney and LGBT advocates are pushing back against President Trump’s decision to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military.

The Mayor decided to honor LGBT veterans following the President’s shift in military policy.

“Donald Trump’s attempt to ban transgender individuals from the military is an appalling step backward for our country, and for civil rights,” said Kenney.

“Philadelphia, its LGBTQ community, and its allies will not tolerate hate and discrimination of any kind,” said Amber Hikes, Director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs.

Army veteran Sue Fulton says a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity should have no bearing on the “honor and privilege of serving our nation.”

“They defend the freedoms of the people who hate them, and the people who would fire them. And, they are courageously living their lives as their true selves, with integrity,” she said.

Fulton is the executive director and co-founder of Knights Out, an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender West Point graduates.

The Trump White House did not specify what would happen to active transgender military members. If the President’s directive forces the Defense Department to discharge current transgender troops, advocates promise lawsuits.

The decision reverses a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Obama.

As with many of the President’s decisions, he tweeted it first, writing “After consultation with my generals and military experts, the U.S. will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity.” In Mr. Trump’s words, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory.”

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