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Minnesota Dems calling for transgender military ban reversal

143 House Democrats are asking President Trump to change course.
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Minnesota Democrats are among 143 representatives of the U.S. House calling on President Donald Trump to reverse his ban on transgender people serving in the military.

A letter from House Democrats was sent to the president on Tuesday, stating that "contrary to your rhetoric, their service has not caused 'disruption' or 'burdened' the military. Rather, their sacrifices have made our nation safer and stronger."

Copies of some pages of the letter show that three Minnesota Democrats – Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Tim Walz – are among those to have signed it.

It's not clear if the remaining two Minnesota Democrats, Reps. Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan, also signed.

There has been significant opposition to Trump's ban, with his contention that the service of transgender people was "burdensome" to the military being opposed by a study showing that the additional cost of having openly trans service members would only be $8.4 million, out of the military's $50 billion healthcare budget.

The letter to the president says there's "no place for discrimination in our Armed Forces or indeed anywhere else in American society."

"Enforcing your ban could mean discharging active duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, and members of the Air Force who are serving honorably," it adds.

Among the transgender people serving in the military is Minnesota's Tarrance Robertson, who began the process of transitioning after the ban on transgender people serving in the military was lifted by the Obama administration last year.

He told GoMN a lot of the criticisms leveled at transgender people serving in the military are based on "misinformation and a lack of understanding," and said he never had any adverse reactions from his own colleagues to his transition.

The ACLU announced on Monday it is suing the government in a bid to stop the transgender ban from taking effect.

And on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced the Pentagon will study how to best implement the ban – adding that for now, people who are transgender can continue serving. 

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