Rick Perry: I 'totally support' Trump transgender military ban

Rick Perry: I 'totally support' Trump transgender military ban
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he supports President Trump's announcement this week that he will ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

"I totally support the president in his decision," the former Texas governor said, according to The Texas Tribune.

"The idea that the American people need to be paying for these types of operations to change your sex is not very wise from a standpoint of economics," he continued. "I think the president makes some good decisions about making sure that we have a force that is capable."

 

Perry, an Air Force veteran, is one of the few lawmakers supportive of the change.

Transgender troops have been able to serve openly since summer 2016, when the Obama administration lifted the ban. They also receive coverage for any treatment deemed medically necessary by their doctors, including surgery and hormone therapy. 

Trump in his Wednesday morning tweets appeared to reverse the entire policy, though it is unclear how his announcement will affect transgender individuals already serving in the Armed Forces.

Multiple Republican senators broke with Trump on the decision.

In separate statements, GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) all criticized Trump for his decision that Obama-era rules allowing transgender troops to serve would be reversed.

“The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter," McCain wrote in his statement.

“The statement was unclear," he added. "The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving."