Tech rivals have once again shown solidarity in their condemnation of Donald Trump. This time, it was the President’s announcement to ban transgender people from serving in the military that has led to the outcry.
Trump tweeted Wednesday 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 victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” he wrote.
If the decision is turned into law, it will reverse a policy put into place by the Obama administration that allowed trans people to serve, offered aid with their transition, and introduced diversity training for soldiers working with trans individuals.
Leaders from the tech world have responded with the #LetThemServe hashtag. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was one of the first to tweet, writing: “I am grateful to the transgender members of the military for their service.”
We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back. #LetThemServe— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 26, 2017
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Jack Dorsey, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Uber, Intel's Brian Krzanich, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann, and many more were quick to offer their support.
Y combinator president Sam Altman tweeted that the “estimated cost of trans service members is less than a couple of Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago.”
Bloomberg reports that a 2014 study estimated there were 15,500 trans people currently serving in the US military. According to analysis by the RAND corporation last year, their care would have come to $8.4 million in medical costs – “a little more than 0.1 percent of what the military spends on medical care for all service members,” and “about 0.0014 percent of Trump's total defense budget proposal.”
2/ These patriotic Americans deserve to be honored and respected, not turned away because of who they are.— Uber Comms (@Uber_Comms) July 26, 2017