It’s an unfortunate move by Trump. I think there are legitimate differences between sexual orientation-based discrimination and transgender discrimination when the issue is sharing intimate space (barracks, locker rooms) with those who are still—and may plan to remain—physically one sex while living as the other. But blanket prohibitions aren’t the way to handle these issues.
That said, the organized LGBT movement declared a blistering war against Trump from day one, even though on sexual orientation he was the most supportive GOP presidential nominee ever. What if they had worked to persuade him instead of unleashing their unceasing torrent of hate? We may never know.
More. Yes, the candidate who said this during his convention speech accepting the GOP nomination was reachable:
As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” [applause] “I must say as a Republican it is so nice to hear you cheering. Thank you.”
But with the LGBT activist community and LGBT media implacably opposed to him, it’s not so surprising that he would instead seek to curry favor with social conservatives.
Effective political advocates lobby both parties and hire lobbyist from both parties to do so. But the Human Rights Campaign and virtually all other LGBT groups (except the explicitly party-affiliated Log Cabin Republicans), although their mission statements aren’t officially partisan, long ago decided to be partisan Democrats first.
Another view: Trump’s military transgender ban is unfair but correct.
I think it would have been wise if all sides could make a distinction between fully transitioned, post-op transgender men and woman, who should be legally treated as members of the sex to which they’ve transitioned, and transgender people who are in the process of transitioning or (as noted above) have decided not to physically transition but to present themselves as the other sex. I could see the military making this distinction by accepting the former but not the latter.