The sheriff of Washington state's King County tweeted support for transgender service members on Thursday, one day after President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that transgender people will not be able to serve "in any capacity in the U.S. Military."
"I respect anyone who steps up to serve our country and community, whether they’re a member of the armed forces or a first responder," Sheriff John Urquhart told NBC News. "I’m proud to have transgender individuals serving within our ranks, and they do an excellent job protecting our community day in and day out."
NBC Out #Pride30 honoree Jaime Deer, an openly transgender deputy currently serving under Sheriff Urquhart in King County, is one such individual.
President Trump's series of surprise tweets Wednesday morning left many scrambling for clarity. But as of yet, there has been no official change to the Obama-era policy allowing trans people to serve openly, which has been in effect since June 2016. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday said the U.S. military will not make any changes to its transgender policy until President Trump clarifies what he meant in his tweets.
"If they can do the job, they will always have a home here," Sheriff Urquhart said. "Any transgender person forced out of the military is invited to apply!"