Colorado Republican Ken Buck: “Any American … Should Be Allowed to Serve” in Military in Response to Trump Transgender Ban

Carolyn Kaster, The Associated Press

Colorado Congressman Ken Buck, a Republican, pushed back against President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday morning to bar transgender people from serving in the military “in any capacity.”

“America needs a military comprised of patriots willing to sacrifice for this country,” Buck, who represents Weld County and the Eastern Plains, said in a written statement to The Denver Post. “Any American who is physically and emotionally qualified should be allowed to serve.”

Buck was one of several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation to weigh in following Trump’s Twitter post Wednesday morning.

In that post, Trump said transgender people in the military cause “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” The president tweeted that after consulting with “generals and military experts,” the government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”

Trump’s decision is a reversal of policies during the Obama administration. In June 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the military’s ban on transgender people from serving.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, an El Paso County Republican, supported Trump’s move.

“While I appreciate and respect the willingness of anyone to step forward and serve in uniform, I agree with the president’s decision,” Lamborn said in a statement. “There are too many unanswered medical, housing, readiness, and deployment questions to allow the previous policies of the Obama administration to continue. Our military must remain focused on fighting and winning conflicts and wars, any other considerations must remain secondary.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, said the president’s decision is making the U.S. military weaker.

“Trump makes our military weaker by arbitrarily kicking out high-performing soldiers based solely on gender identity,” Polis said in a tweet.

Trump makes our military weaker by arbitrarily kicking out high-performing soldiers based solely on gender identityhttps://t.co/JMurtKXUWl

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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