Sen. Orrin Hatch breaks with Trump on transgender ban

Sen. Orrin Hatch, date and location unspecified | Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – In the wake of President Donald Trump’s abrupt announcement over Twitter Wednesday declaring transgender individuals will not “serve in any capacity” in the military, Sen. Orrin Hatch responded, “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone.”

Read more: Trump bars transgender individuals from US armed forces

Hatch’s response came shortly after the group Utah Indivisible sent a tweet to Utah’s congressional delegation asking: “Hey, Utah lawmakers, do you stand with transgender Utahns?”

The initial response from Hatch’s Office was “Yes.”

That response was soon followed by a statement from Hatch’s office:

I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them. I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.

As for where Utah’s other senator stands on the issue, Sen. Mike Lee’s office released the following statement:

Sen. Lee supports having the most combat ready military possible. That is his top priority. It is currently unclear what, if any, official policy Trump created today, and we are reaching out to the Pentagon for answers.

Though she did not reference the transgender troop ban specifically, Rep. Mia Love said Wednesday that anyone who is “fit for military service” should be able to do so.

According to the Associated Press, a Rand Corp. study estimated there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender troops currently serving in the military with another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

“We have always and will always serve with honor and integrity as do those who serve honorably at our side,” said Sarah Gene Hjalmarson, an Equality Utah board member and former military servicemember. “Selfless service is dependent on nothing more or less than how I carry myself in uniform.”

Equality Utah, an LGBTQ advocacy group, has decried the ban.

“We already have qualified and trained transgender troops who are ready to serve their country. Discharging them based on their gender identity goes against our values of hard work and community,” said Troy Williams, Equality Utah’s executive director.

The original tweets from the president concerning the ban on transgender individuals in the military is featured below.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • Kyle L. July 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I STAND WITH TRUMP!!!!! My boy is in the military and I completely back and support President Trump’s decision. This is a decision that follows Biblical principals and Godly values, both of which this country was founded on.

  • Travis July 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    “consultation”, “please be advised”; “will not accept or allow”; etc. Oh, I might as well post the entire tweet. Trump did NOT write this.

    “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised 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”

  • desertgirl July 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Senator Hatch
    The president, most of the military, and at least half of the American citizens have common sense and know that we don’t dilute the backbone of the country with people who are either physically unfit, or mentally unbalanced (including serious emotional issues requiring professional treatment). The military is not a hospital for elective surgery. The swamp cannot provide proper necessary medical attention to active military and veterans. Transgender people should have their surgeries and have completed their transition before being accepted into the military. After that one is either male or female; ‘ it’s’ in the military and in most places is a fire ready to be set. It is not the obligation of tax payers to address individuals and their ‘choice’ to change gender via having joined a branch of the military. It appears that you and your fellow swamp creatures just can’t find enough ways to spend tax payer monies; and to create social problems. The last president did more than enough of dividing and breaking down our moral and family fibers, and destroying our military and making a mockery of the citizens he worked for. Shame on you for joining the mindset of the progressive toilet.

  • comments July 26, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Old Orrin is losing it. Isn’t the corrupt old ***** supposed to be a conservative? You mormons will keep voting him in till after he looks exactly like the crypt keeper (google it), and he’s already about there.

    “According to the Associated Press, there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender troops currently serving in the military with another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.”

    Are these official pentagon numbers, or did AP just pull these numbers out of a hat or what? Quite some large ranges they’ve concocted there.

  • Not_So_Much July 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    People can be denied being accepted into military for whatever reasons that are selected for the best interest of the service. While it isn’t PC the commander in chief has made a decision.

  • ladybugavenger July 26, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    It’s not discrimination. This discrimination jive has gotten out of hand. Just wait! People will cry discrimination for not getting into Harvard because their GPA wasn’t high enough. It’s got to stop.

    Hatch, you pay their medical bills for their operation. I don’t want to. It’s like taxing us and making us pay for women or men (cuz this world has gone mad) to get boob jobs.

  • cindybanks91 July 26, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Our Bible says a man who is double-minded is unstable in all his ways. A man or woman who cannot determine from one day to the next what sex they are is truly unstable. In our military, our young men and women must be focused and grounded at all times. Mental instability is unacceptable. Senator Hatch knows full well, even diabetics can’t be in the military, because they cannot be one-hundred percent at all times. Senator Hatch, seems to have lost his ability to discern, right from wrong and good from evil, so as the transgenders were forced down the militaries throat by our former President, this President will make it right and Senator Hatch should support him or retire.

    • theone July 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Being Transgender is not a mental illness cindybanks91. Your bible is not the tell all book of rules in any sense of humanity. Your bigotry is showing.

      • comments July 27, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        So we actually got full on trannies– men shooting up female hormones and vice versa, post-op artificial sex changes, men getting artificial breasts, etc. How is that not a mental illness. It’s delusion that’s combined with extreme body modification. And the amounts of synthetic sex hormones they take for the modification actually do affect the mind. What benefit at all is there to having this sort of nonsense in the military, or anywhere, for that matter? I’m not a big fan of psychiatry, but I think transsexuals do need it.

        • Redbud July 28, 2017 at 3:06 am

          I have to agree with Cindy on this one. It is one thing to be gay or lesbian, and I feel that the military has already gone above and beyond to accommodate them. Transgender is a whole different thing (as far as having them in the military). Which bathrooms and showers would they use? If they can’t use a woman OR mens bathroom, who is going to pay the cost of installing new facilities at every single military installation we own? To women who serve in the military, would you be totally OK with a transgender man bunking/bathing with you? What happens when you accidently refer to this “woman” as a HE and they get “offended”? Is “she” going to claim harassment and start filing lawsuits? Thank God we have President Trump in office, because if Hillary had been elected, she would race to have transgenders be accepted into the military. People scream for equality, but they don’t stop to think what this would actually do to our military! I have to agree on the tax issue as well. I sure as heck do NOT want my tax dollars going towards them, which is what would happen if we allow them into the military. I am not trying to offend transgender people, you are free to spend your life how you wish, but you do NOT belong in the military, and I will NOT apologize for saying that.

        • theone July 28, 2017 at 10:53 am

          You seem to imply an expert opinion on mental illness, so I have to ask, are you on the board of some mental health facility?
          Oh wait, it’s just your non educated opinion. I have yet to see any official reports that conclude this being a mental illness, have you.

          • comments July 28, 2017 at 11:55 am

            Sorry circus boy, but having your own genitals surgically cut off and then attempt to surgically create imitation genitalia of the opposite sex is a severe mental illness. Homosexuality can be accepted as simply a behavior and lifestyle. Transsexualism when taken to the extreme of surgical and hormonal body modification is pure lunacy. You’re delusional if you think otherwise.

          • theone July 28, 2017 at 1:12 pm

            Show me the studies that back up your claim.

          • comments July 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            NO. i’m not gonna do the ‘leg work’ for u. if u wanna know look it up urself. not worth my time

  • old school July 26, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    It’s an election year!

  • high5 July 27, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Hatch??. After some attention ??.
    He needs to go on permanent Leave!
    POTUS is Absoulutly Correct!!!!!

  • theone July 27, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Hahaha All these comments of delusional construct using the bible as their source of reason is just about as credible as pixie dust. Basing your discrimination justification from the christian fairy tale makes you all invalid.

    And Kyle, this country was not founded on biblical BS. Go back to school and stay awake this time.

  • An actual Independent July 29, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Tired and ignorant platitudes about this country being founded as a Christian nation on Biblical principals. People keep spouting that tripe as though saying it over and over will make it true.
    Read the Federalist. Read the anti-Federalist. Read the works of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. You know, the actual essays, quotes, and thoughts of those guys you pretend to know about and speak for. (Skip the Internet lists of false news about what your redneck church buddies pretend they said).
    The Founding Fathers were humanist realists, who devised a system of government that humans could run. They wrote extensively about the fallacy of expecting “God” to take care of things. In fact, the very reason they were trying to come up with a new form of government is that the European system, giving Church backed power to despots based upon the “divine right” of kings was illegitimate and corrupt. It is unbelievably ignorant to claim that people who went to such effort to separate church from state were intending to set up a church state.?

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