President Trump shocked the LGBTQ community and much of America on Wednesday by tweeting that he plans to ban transgender people from the military. As many social media users were quick to point out, Trump’s decision comes on the 69th anniversary of President Harry Truman ordering the end of discrimination in the United States armed forces. Talk about awkward timing.
On this date in 1948, Truman demanded the military to end discrimination as “rapidly as possible,” according to The New York Times.
Truman ordered that “merit and fitness” should be the only job qualifications for a role in the military. He also said that soldiers should have “equality of treatment and opportunity” regardless of things such as race and religion.
Trump tweeted his decision to ban transgender people from the United States military, marking a major shift from current policy. Members of the transgender community have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban during Obama’s presidency.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming,” Trump wrote.
He continued: “Victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
It’s unclear what now happens to transgender troops who are already serving.
See reactions pointing to the strange timing of the announcement below:
President Truman desegregated US armed forces today 1948: pic.twitter.com/6jRQcsqxuF
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) July 26, 2017
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) July 26, 2017
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order 9981 abolishing all racial segregation in the U.S. military. pic.twitter.com/jspHPsbrka
— Military History Now (@MilHistNow) July 26, 2017
Wow. I didn't realize today was the anniversary of Truman desegregating the military. The timing here is… pic.twitter.com/TE9KajM6Id
— Connor O'Brien (@connorobrienNH) July 26, 2017
On this day in 1948, Pres. Truman abolished racial discrimination in the military.
Today @POTUS banned transgender Americans from serving.
— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) July 26, 2017
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 26, 2017
If you’re wondering why “President Truman” is trending, it's because he ordered the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces on this day in 1948 pic.twitter.com/XiUvY8BVQO
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) July 26, 2017
Today, 69 years ago, President Truman desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces. People complained. He said they'd get over it. He was right.
— Charles Clymer????️???? (@cmclymer) July 26, 2017
— David Beard (@dabeard) July 26, 2017
69-yrs ago President Truman did the right thing & desegregated US military Today President Trump did the wrong thing attacking trans rights
— Dominic Patten (@DeadlineDominic) July 26, 2017