Crime & Courts

Rep. Norman says he supports Trump on transgender military stance

Rep. Ralph Norman
Rep. Ralph Norman

South Carolina’s newest Congressional member, Rep. Ralph Norman, told the Columbia Rotary Club on Monday that he supports President Trump’s proposed ban on transgenders entering the military.

“Absolutely, I agree with that,” said Norman, 64, a commercial real estate broker from Rock Hill, who was recently elected in a special election in the state’s 5th Congressional District.

Norman did not address whether those transgenders currently serving in the military should be kicked out. In late July, Trump tweeted that allowing transgenders in the military “erodes military readiness and unit cohesion.” Trump himself received multiple deferments that allowed him to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.

Norman, a conservative Republican and former S.C. House member, also said he agreed a Trump executive order that prohibited funding sex-change operations for transgender troops serving in the military. He said such operations cost the taxpayer $80 million-plus “not counting” costs from lawsuits from surgeries that didn’t go right.

In May, Norman eked out a 221-vote victory over Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York, out of more than 35,000 votes cast. He then went on to win general election. The election was to fill a seat vacated by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. Trump appointed Mulvaney.

Transgender people, a decided minority, as those who experience a gender identity that is not the same as their physical sex. No one knows exactly how many are currently serving.