Trump says transgender people not allowed to serve in US military

WASHINGTON —President Donald Trump has announced that the US military will not accept or allow transgender individuals "to serve in any capacity."

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with "Generals and military experts," that the government "will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

Trump added that "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."

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.

Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.

Illinois lawmakers weigh in on Trump transgender policy

Reaction from lawmakers came pouring in Wednesday after the president made his announced about transgender people in the military.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are among the Illinois politicians criticizing the president’s decision.

Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran who lost both legs after her helicopter was shot down in 2004. The Democratic senator said Wednesday that she "didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else." She said the policy is "counterproductive to our national security."

Emanuel said Trump "has come down on the wrong side of history." The Democratic mayor called the policy divisive. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois said the policy is "unpatriotic and disastrous for our national security." He is vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, who is a founding member of the Transgender Equality Task Force, said “prohibiting some of our most courageous and talented men and women from serving the country they love simply because of their gender identity is unpatriotic and disastrous for our national security.” He went on to say that the decision was “cruel and unnecessary.”