House Dems urge Trump to reconsider military transgender ban

Nancy Pelosi, Frank Pallone, Bobby Scott
In this July 20, 2017 photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked by, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, left, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the ranking member on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, discusses the Republican efforts to replace "Obamacare," during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats are trying to bounce back from their November election losses and rebrand themselves, rolling out a populist new agenda under the slogan “A Better Deal.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 140 House Democrats have sent a letter to President Donald Trump calling on him to reconsider his ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

The lawmakers argued there is no place for discrimination in the military or anywhere else in society. In the letter released Tuesday, they said enforcing the ban could mean discharging active duty soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force members who are serving honorably.

Trump directed the Pentagon on Friday to implement a ban on transgender individuals from enlisting in the military, which he first announced in a tweet. Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to decide the matter of openly transgender individuals already serving.

The ban would take effect next year. It also orders a halt to the use of Pentagon resources to fund sex-reassignment surgeries for military personnel.