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'We welcome all' - Irish Defence Forces responds to Trump's 'transgender military ban'

'[We] welcome applications from all members of Irish society, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender'


The Defence Forces (stock image)

The Defence Forces (stock image)

The Defence Forces (stock image)

The Irish Defence Forces has sent out a positive message regarding transgender troops.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he would impose a ban on transgender people entering the US military.

In a series of tweets he argued, "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."

His decision reverses the decision of the Obama administration when the US Department of Defence announced last year that it would openly serve transgender troops.

The Irish Defence Forces has now sent out a different message and insists that transgender people are welcome to serve.

"[We] welcome applications from all members of Irish society, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender," a spokesperson for the Defence Forces told Independent.ie.

"The Government believes that the Defence Forces should reflect the richness and diversity of the community it serves. To that end, the Defence Forces are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in all of its employment policies, procedures, instructions and regulations."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also responded to the U.S. President's comments during the week.

"It is a domestic policy issue for the United States," he said at a press conference on Friday. "They run their defence forces, we run ours."

He added; "It is not something I would ever consider introducing to Ireland."

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On Thursday, US Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly told the military to wait until it receives official guidance from Trump before before changing its policy.

It is unclear how many members of the US military will be affected by the ban.

A 2014 UCLA study estimated that there are 150,000 trans troops but there is no concrete data. The study details that approximately 15,500 of these people are on active duty.

The Irish Defence Forces doesn't have any official numbers of how many troops are transgender, if any, as it does not record statistical data relating to sensitive private information.

Last October it launched its LGBTI network, Defend With Pride. The network aims to promote sexual diversity in the Army, Naval Service, and Air Corps.

"The provision and fostering of a diverse and inclusive workplace environment, reflective of Irish society is our moral duty and, for the Defence Forces, it means better decision-making, better agility, better resilience," Vice Admiral Mark Mellett said.

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