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 rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push 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 HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker vows to form White House office on abortion rights 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE (N.J.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers MORE (Mass.), as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Harris seeks Iowa edge with army of volunteers 2020 Democratic presidential candidates rally in support of abortion rights 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 GillibrandGOP faces new challenge in 2020 abortion fight 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights MORE (N.Y.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanGOP faces new challenge in 2020 abortion fight 2020 Democratic presidential candidates rally in support of abortion rights The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget MORE (Ohio)