On Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted, "the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." Within hours, lawmakers weighed in on the president's statement including Sen. McCain (R_AZ) who offered clarification regarding a Department of Defense study into “the medical obligations [the military] would incur...with accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving."
Considering, President Trump was the first GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in a nomination acceptance speech, we decided to explore how dialogue surrounding the transgender individuals has evolved amongst elected officials.
Of the 292 Republicans serving in Congress, 21 issued a statement in response to the president's call for a transgender military ban. Across the aisle, 157 of the 243 Democrats in Congress responded to the president's Tweet.
Over the past three years, there have been over 3,600 mentions of “transgender” by members of Congress. In 2014, there were only 229 mentions of "transgender" by Congress, significantly less than the over 1,400 in the first seven months of 2017.
Rep. Quigley (D-IL-5) leads Democrats in mentions of transgender with 130 mentions in statements or on social media. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-2) leads Republicans in mentions of transgender with 96 mentions. Of the top 10 most vocal members on transgender issues, nine are Democrats and only one is Republican.