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Tech CEOs protest as Donald Trump bans transgenders from serving in US military

US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender Americans from serving ‘in any capacity’ in the armed forces has evoked sharp criticism from several top technology CEOs.

Written by: India TV News Desk, Washington [ Updated: July 27, 2017 12:12 IST ]
File pic of US President Donald Trump
File pic of US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender Americans from serving ‘in any capacity’ in the armed forces has evoked sharp criticism from several top technology CEOs. These top executives have been critical of the Trump administration in the past as well and this was visible when Trump ordered a travel ban on six Muslim countries. 

Expressing his opposition to the President’s decision, Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed his gratitude for transgender members of the military. “I am grateful to the transgender members of the military for their service. #LetThemServe.” he tweeted.

Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, wrote that ‘discrimination in any form is wrong for all of us’. Apple CEO Tim Cook too joined the league, saying, "We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back."

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said that he disagree with Trump’s decision. “Everyone should be able to serve their country — no matter who they are,” he wrote on his Facebook profile page.

Airbnb's Brian Chesky and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, a frequently outspoken advocate on gay rights issues who led many CEOs to speak out on legislation in Indiana while Vice President Mike Pence was Governor, too expressed their support and gratitude.

“Want to thank all transgender soldiers for their patriotism & believe anyone who wants to serve should be able to serve. #LetThemServe,” Chesky tweeted. 

“We are once again reminded there is no finish line for equality,” Benioff tweeted.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump announced that transgender Americans will not be allowed to serve ‘in any capacity’ in the armed forces. The President tweeted that ‘transgender individuals would be prohibited from serving in the US military’, saying he made the decision after consulting with Generals and military experts.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow,” one of his tweet reads.

“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 added.

In June 2016, then-US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had announced that, ‘effective immediately’, transgender individuals currently on military duty would be able to serve openly. He said then that the services would begin allowing transgenders to join the armed forces starting on July 1, 2017. But hours before that deadline, on June 30, 2017, the Pentagon announced a delay in its transgender recruitment policy until January 1, 2018.

"The services will review their accession plans (for transgender applicants) and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces," the Pentagon said then.

That delay, however, did not affect transgender individuals currently serving in the US Armed Forces, whose future is now in limbo following Trump's announcement.

The President did not indicate in his tweets when and how the ban would be implemented.

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