Top three lies about Trump's trans military ban by Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Spoiler alert: None of the proposed justifications for this policy are rooted in fact.

NEW YORK - GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released a fact check calling out White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for peddling lies surrounding President Donald Trump's announcement yesterday to ban transgender soldiers from openly serving in “any capacity” within the United States armed forces. Without any resources to justify the president’s clear discrimination, the Trump Administration failed to answer basic inquiries about how this proposal would be carried out, leaving the 15,000 transgender Americans currently serving in the United States with both devastation and confusion surrounding this policy decision.

1: Arguing that “the decision is based on what is best for the military” and that “it is not meant to be anything more than that.”

FACT: Allowing transgender troops to openly serve as they are able under current policy is supported by Secretary Mattis. As recently as last week, Mattis personally called Rep. Hartzler to ask her to withdraw her amendment which would have barred health care access to transgender troops. If the well-being of the military was taken into account, specific details of this policy would have been available to the public prior to its announcement. Further, removing serving troops from their units will disrupt military missions. What is clear is this was not about what was best for the military. An additional factor in the president’s decision could have been the many anti-LGBTQ groups and activists who lobbied Trump for this ban.

2: Repeating President Trump’s Twitter talking point that transgender inclusion is a "very expensive and disruptive policy."

FACT: The cost of providing essential healthcare to transgender troops is negligible. While the ban’s proponents cite anti-LGBTQ hate-groups for their defense, the best independent estimates available from the New England Journal of Medicine and RAND Corporation discredits this false narrative. As the Washington Post reported, the military spends five times more than the cost of transgender healthcare on Viagra – a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction.

3: Claiming "I think the president has made very clear that he is fighting for all Americans."

FACT: Even apart from GLAAD’s detailed catalog of the over 25 anti-LGBTQ attacks this administration has waged since Day One, the idea that President Trump is fighting for all Americans is easily discredited by the headlines. Since taking office, President Trump has targeted marginalized Americans. He has rolled back important protections for clean drinking water, targeted Muslim communities with two executive actions that prohibit travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, and proposed a 41% budget cut to WIC – a program that provides healthcare and nutrition to low-income women and children. And these examples only just scratch the surface.


Question: "Did the president today just betray his commitment to the transgender community?" Press Secretary Sanders: "No."

FACT: Let’s be clear, President Trump has failed to serve the needs of the transgender community from Day One. His actions yesterday did not break a commitment, it only further solidified his administration as the most anti-LGBTQ government in recent memory. From hiring anti-trans activists to rescinding Title IX protections for transgender students in our nation's schools, Trump’s false facade of support for transgender Americans had already been discredited.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Press Secretary Sanders’ Own Anti-LGBTQ Record

  • Headed the American Principles Fund, a Super PAC that attacks candidates for their support of LGBTQ rights and other social issues. The Fund is a spinoff of the American Principles Project, a conservative organization founded by National Organization For Marriage (NOM) cofounder and Federal Marriage Amendment author Robert George. The Fund has been largely financed by Sean Fieler, a major NOM donor.
  • Led the American Principles Fund during their ad campaign attacking Senate candidate Liz Cheney for not being anti-LGBTQ enough, even though Cheney stood opposed to LGBTQ rights.
  • Threatened pro-LGBTQ candidates that their support was on “the wrong side” and “could be fatal”: “Jobs and economy and spending are still the most important, but a candidate’s position on social issues such as life and marriage sends an extremely strong message about their values. That’s why taking the wrong side could be fatal.”
  • Framed marriage equality and other social matters as an “attack” on “values”: “The unilateral truce on social issues within the GOP is bad for our party and wrong for our country — our core values are under attack, and we will stand for those who stand for what’s right,” she said in a statement.
  • Shared a Facebook post in which an anti-LGBTQ writer criticizes football player Michael Sam for coming out as gay, saying the author made “great observations.”