Celebrities, world leaders, tech execs and employers implore Trump to #LetThemServe

The president announced on Twitter that the U.S. military would no longer allow transgender individuals to serve. Here’s how high-profile figures and organizations reacted to the news.

The call to “let them serve” is growing.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender people would not be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the United States military:

Business Insider reported:

Trump’s announcement reverses former president Barack Obama’s decision in 2016 to allow transgender individuals to serve, though the implementation of that policy had been delayed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Senior officials in each branch of the military had voiced opposition to integrating transgender service people leading up to Trump’s announcement, the Military Times reports.

It’s unclear how this will affect openly transgender people currently serving in the military. Up to 10,700 transgender people may already be serving in the US military, according to a 2016 study by the RAND Corporation.

The decision caused a rift among military veterans in Congress. Though some are standing behind the president’s announcement, others called the move “discriminatory.”

The Lexington Herald Leader reported:

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a former Army helicopter pilot who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm during the Iraq war, called Trump’s announcement discriminatory.

“When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else,” she said. “All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.”

World military leaders also criticized the decision on social media. This tweet came from the official Twitter account of Canada’s armed forces:

Celebrities and public figures, including Caitlyn Jenner (a vocal Trump voter), also took to social platforms to stand for transgender rights and protest the move:

It wasn’t just celebrities, politicians and military leaders who spoke out against Trump’s announcement, though. Many technology organizations took up the torch and protested online.

Chief executives of Apple, PayPal, SurveyMonkey, Google, Twitter, Postmates, Facebook and Salesforce took to social media and spoke out against the announcement:

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, also spoke out against the decision:

Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s former chief executive; Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s founder; and Max Levchin, Confinity’s chief technology officer also tweeted their displeasure with the move:

Some tech organizations tweeted responses from official accounts, including Postmates, Google and Uber:

One reason these leaders and their organizations are speaking out is increasing pressure to take a stand on political and social issues. Statements underlining an organization’s values become even more important when that organization has taken a reputation hit for other actions.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Tech companies have learned the hard way the consequences of not speaking out.

Due to his role on a White House advisory council and his perceived coziness with the Trump administration, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was slammed by critics after the president signed an executive order barring travelers and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. Customers took to Twitter using the hashtag #DeleteUber—leading thousands to delete the ride-hailing app from their phones. Kalanick later quit the panel, before resigning from his job as scandals enveloped the company.

TechCrunch reported:

For Silicon Valley, which has made considerable if at times fraught progress when it comes to trans issues, these moments create friction around the industry’s generally socially liberal stances and an opportunity to speak out ideologically against an administration that at other times it appears content to coordinate with.

What do you think about these leaders’ statements, PR Daily readers?

Topics: PR


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