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Tallahassee transgender Veteran speaks out against military ban

Tallahassee transgender Veteran speaks out against military ban
Tallahassee transgender Veteran speaks out against military ban
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 14:39:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Local members of the LGBT community and others are speaking out against President Donald Trump's decision today to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

The president tweeted this morning, "the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."

Many are expressing overwhelming disappointment with the president's decision, including here in the Big Bend.

"This is a very expensive and disruptive policy...that erodes military readiness and unit cohesion," said Sarah Sanders, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary.

After a controversial decision from President Donald Trump in a series of tweets Wednesday, a local transgender veteran says she's disappointed.

"I look at it as just another breaking of promises he made during the campaign," said Barbara Ann Myers, a local transgender veteran. "He's doing whatever he can to make those right-wing people happy."

Barbara Ann Myers served in the Navy for six years, including during the Vietnam War. She said there's little truth to the president's claim that medical costs would be tremendous.

"I don't see where it would be any more medical expense than taking care of any of the others," said Myers.

The Capital Equality Democratic Caucus says over 15,000 transgender Americans are already serving in the military. The Tallahassee-based group issued this statement: "It is clear from statements to the media from the president's own administration that this decision was made for political reasons and is not an issue of military readiness."

Local gubernatorial candidates also voiced their opinions on social media.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum tweeting this: "Proud to stand with the LGBTQ community as our president creates dysfunction and disunity yet again."

And former Congresswoman Gwen Graham with this: "A commander and chief shouldn't discriminate against any American who wants to serve in our military. This is disgraceful."

"When I was in the military, I was defending the rights and freedom of all citizens of the United States -- not just a select few, it was all," Myers asserted.

The Florida National Guard tells us it's in compliance with current policies regarding transgender service members but it does anticipate revised guidance from the Department of Defense.