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Trump's Ban on Transgender People In The Military Confuses Ohio Senators

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Andy Chow
/
Ohio Public Radio

Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators expressed surprise at President Trump’s announcement today that he will bar transgender people from serving in the military. 

Trump made his surprise declaration in a series of Twitter posts, saying the military can’t afford what he claimed are the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” that comes with transgender people.

Democrat Sherrod Brown called that ungrounded.

“I have deep respect of course and gratitude for anyone who volunteers to serve in our military and we should not turn anyone away who volunteers to serve our country. The president’s wrong.”

Trump said he made the decision after consulting with unnamed general and experts. That confused Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

“My understanding was that Secretary of Defense Mattis had just put in place a couple months ago a six-month policy review on this and by the end of the year we were going to get the input from the military. And I think we should let the military decide this.”

President Barack Obama had announced last year that transgender people could serve openly in the military.

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.