Once upon a time, phrases like ‘message of inclusion for all’ weren’t controversial among American lawmakers. Nearly everyone embraced them (even if they had different ideas about their meaning). That’s no longer true.
On Wednesday, Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) – a veteran of the Persian Gulf War – sent out a missive via Facebook in support of President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the military.
The Congressman, who represents Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District, wrote that “President Trump made the right decision today for our military in our country.”
“For far too long,” Palazzo wrote, “our military has been led by individuals more concerned about the political message of inclusion for all, rather than the safety and security of this nation.”
“Instead of using our military as a proving ground for the radical policies of the liberal left, we should be focused on defeating our enemies and defending our Constitution.”
Palazzo has a history of supporting anti-LGBT legislation and making anti-LGBT comments. In 2014, LGBT activists protested him for an anti-gay post he made following an LGBT inclusive performance on the Grammys.
Palazzo has been dubbed ‘No Show Palazzo’ by local activists, both for his refusal to hold public town hall events and for rumors that he had failed to show up for National Guard duty. Last year, opponents for his seat accused him of not showing up for National Guard Duty in Poplarville. Palazzo denied the allegations.
Approximately 6,000 transgender people currently serve in the U.S. military.
According to a report from Politico, Trump’s sudden move to ban transgender people from serving in the military wasn’t brought on by any particular “concerns” about trans people serving. Instead, it was made because a congressional fight over funding for gender reassignment surgery threatened to derail funding for his border wall.