Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown said President Trump's decision on transgender troops marked a "a dark day for our Armed Forces and our nation."
The president abruptly declared a ban Wednesday on transgender people serving anywhere in the U.S. military, catching the Pentagon flat-footed and unable to explain what it called Trump's "guidance." His proclamation, on Twitter rather than any formal announcement, drew bipartisan denunciations and threw currently serving transgender soldiers into limbo.
"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," the commander in chief tweeted.
Brown, who spent 30 years in the United States Army, said he will defend transgender people's rights to serve their country.
"President Trump's rationale harkens back to a more ignorant and intolerant time, where words like 'disruption' and 'not a social experiment' were used to keep women, African Americans and gays and lesbians from fully participating in our military services," the Prince George's County Democrat said in a statement.
Republican Rep. Andy Harris, the only other member of the Maryland delegation to wear a uniform, "fully supports the President's decision," said spokeswoman Jacque Clark. Harris served as a medical officer in the Naval Reserve.
Sen. Ben Cardin and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, both Democrats, have released statements condemning Trump's announcement.