President Donald Trump Wednesday tweeted that the military will no longer "accept or allow" transgender individuals from serving. And many elected officials and legal advocacy groups in New England are speaking out on the ban.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey told WGBH Radio, that, so far, the president's actions are only tweets. But she called his words shameful.
"These are people who are putting their lives on the line for their country, it is just despicable," Healey said. "Especially from a guy who didn't have the guts to serve not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, but five times."
Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren reacted in her own tweet.
By attacking thousands of troops, @realDonaldTrump makes clear that he cares more about extreme ideology than military readiness.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 26, 2017
The White House says the president's decision is all about military preparedness. But the American Civil Liberties Union said it's "outrageous and desperate."
Janson Wu of the group GLAD in Boston said his organization will be ready to investigate the legal claims of affected service members.
"One tweet does not change a policy that has been implemented without problem," Wu said. "I think we have a responsibility to hold this federal administration accountable to the values we all share here in Massachusetts."
The president's decision would reverse a 2016 policy that protects individuals from being discharged from the military based on gender identity.
The tweets come on the 69th anniversary of President Truman's executive order ending racial segregation in the Armed Forces.