Microsoft has once again found itself in opposition to US government policies after officials in the company made it clear that they did not support Donald Trump’s posited ban on transgender soldiers in the US military.
Trump’s policy was announced in a series of tweets where he said:
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……
….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..
….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
The medical cost of transgender soldiers are estimated to be around $2.4 million to $8.4 million annually, representing a negligible 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase in health-care costs, according to a RAND report.
Responded also on Twitter Microsoft’s chief counsel Brad Smith responded by saying:
We honor and respect all who serve, including the transgender members of our military. #LetThemServe
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 26, 2017
The tweet was endorsed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who retweeted it, as can be seen in the image above.
Microsoft has long championed LGBT rights, most recently helping fight the transgender bathroom ban all the way up to the Supreme Court. Microsoft has also opposed the administration on their travel ban for workers of foreign origin and joined forces with other tech companies to fight for net neutrality.
Satya Nadella continues to be part of Trump’s American Technology Council, recently quit by Elon Musk over Trump’s opposition to the Paris Climate Accord, and we wonder how long Microsoft can attempt to straddle both sides of the divide with so little common ground between it and the White House.