2020 Dems condemn Trump administration's transgender military policy

Several Democrats running for the party's 2020 nomination on Friday criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE's new policy prohibiting transgender troops from serving in the military unless they serve under their biological sex. 

The controversial measure, which ends the previous policy under former President Obama allowing transgender people to serve openly, went into effect on Friday.

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Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? Booker: Barr's suggestion of spying on Trump campaign 'eroded' public's trust MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump pushes back on impeachment talk: 'Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!' Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Moulton enters 2020 White House race MORE (Mass.), as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Buttigieg says quick rise has 'created some challenges' Moulton enters 2020 White House race MORE, were among those who spoke out against the measure on Twitter, with many of them calling it a ban. 

The Pentagon denies the policy, a revamped version of a stricter one unveiled earlier, is a ban.

The department argues currently serving transgender service members or anyone who has already signed an enlistment contract can continue to serve openly, and point to the carveouts for transgender people willing to serve under their biological sex.

But the policy has been opposed by most Democrats.

"To the transgender Americans who serve in our Armed Forces: You deserve better," Harris wrote on Friday. "We stand with you in opposing Trump’s reprehensible, vile, and discriminatory ban."

"The #TransMilitaryBan must be defeated. To the thousands of transgender patriots serving in our military, we are so grateful for your service and will fight this ban with you," Booker wrote. "Make no mistake: an attack on the transgender community is an attack on us all." 

Buttigieg, who is a veteran, encouraged his followers to "ask how we could stand for courageous service members to have their careers destroyed by a president who pretended to be disabled in order to avoid serving when it was his turn," referring to Trump's five draft deferments during the Vietnam war due to bone spurs. 

"Let me be very clear: If someone can handle the job, they should be allowed to serve—regardless of how they identify or who they love,"  Warren tweeted. "We’ll stand with service members and fight this cruelty with everything we’ve got."

Other Democratic presidential candidates who denounced the policy change include Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college Cory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' MORE (N.Y.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanWarren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? Trump takes aim at Dem talk of impeachment MORE (Ohio)