Failing to throw millions of citizens off of their health care, President Trump now leads the Republican charge to target specific groups of individuals. Citing health care costs, transgender people would be banned from serving in our military.

Considering that only several thousand are serving, and therefore account for a small percentage of service member’s health care costs, it becomes clear that finances really had nothing to do with this decision. After all, services specific to transgender care cost a thousandth of 1 percent of our annual defense budget.

During Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised to defend lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and also to make us safer by strengthening our military. Given that he has already broken the promise to be a proponent of LGBT rights, it is no surprise that he is also now reducing the size of our forces through arbitrary means.

This policy makes us less safe, and furthermore, is cruel to individuals willing to put their lives on the line for us. It sends the message that American patriotism is more about exclusion, hate and bigotry. 

Jenica Roenneburg