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House LGBT Caucus Transgender Equality Task Force Commends Passage of Resolution Opposing Trans Military Ban

Mar 28, 2019
Press Release

420 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20003

Date: March 28, 2019      Contact:  Aliya Bean, (202) 225-2305

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington D.C. – LGBT Equality Caucus Transgender Equality Task Force (TETF) members released the following statements in response to the passage of a resolution denouncing the ban on transgender servicemembers. On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed TETF Chair Rep. Joe Kennedy’s House Resolution 124 in a bipartisan vote of 238-185. The resolution rejects President Trump’s ban on openly transgender servicemembers from serving in our nation’s military and urges the Department of Defense to not reinstate the discriminatory policy.

“Equality has always been this nation’s north star. Too often we have fallen short in that pursuit of equality, and too often men and women willing to die in wars for this country have returned home to a government that considers them second class citizens,” said Transgender Equality Task Force Chair Rep. Joe Kennedy III (MA-04). “Today, the House of Representatives rejected a misguided, bigoted ban on transgender servicemembers and a return to some of the darkest days in our nation’s history. But more than that, this resolution sends a message to all transgender troops, all transgender men, women and children, and all Americans that your government sees you, hears you, and you count.”

“The deeply-rooted discrimination and hatred of the Trump Administration should never form the basis of policy, and anyone willing and able to serve in the military should be allowed to—including our brave transgender brothers and sisters,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03). “Today’s resolution rejects Trump’s discrimination and the bogus arguments this ban was based on, and reaffirms to the transgender community that their lives, rights, and futures matter.”

“Anyone who has volunteered to serve our country deserves our gratitude, but this administration has used politically motivated policies to exclude a whole group of people,” said Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01). “Transgender servicemembers honorably serve our country, they go through the same training and abide by the same requirements, and they are actively serving overseas. They deserve fairness and respect.”

“The trans ban, in any form, is the same old script of hate, ignorance, and bigotry that was used to fight against African Americans, women, and gay individuals serving in the military: these groups will cause ‘disruption’ in the military,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). Just like the other demonized groups, the thousands of transgender individuals currently serving in the military have caused no disruptions. They have served with distinction and honor while defending our nation. We must fight to push ever forward, despite the efforts of this Administration to take us back to a time before Stonewall and Independence Hall. This is a fight for respect, justice, and equality.”

“Today, I was proud to vote for a resolution denouncing President Trump’s discriminatory and offensive ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S military,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04). Thousands of transgender individuals serve in our armed forces, and they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. The Trump administration’s divisive policy shows a shameful disrespect for these brave individuals and is a betrayal of our nation’s values. I will continue to fight against this ban, and any effort to limit the rights of transgender Americans.”

“Transgender Americans have served in the military with honor and distinction. They have fought, bled, and died for our country and deserve nothing less from their Commander in Chief than his unreserved support,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05). Today, House Democrats sent a clear message to the trans community – we see you, we support you, and we stand with you.”

“Transgender people serving in the military deserve our heartfelt gratitude,” said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05). “Not to have their contributions to our national security degraded by the President. There is absolutely no reasonable reason, other than animus or ignorance, to exclude patriots who are otherwise qualified from serving just because they happen to be transgender.”

“I have been longtime ally and advocate of the transgender community. And now, I am an advocate for very personal reasons, as the grandmother of Issac. Efforts like this ban are an attack on all transgender people, whether they want to serve in the military or not. Most ordinary Americans, especially our younger generations, believe in equality for transgender people,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).

“I am proud that Congress is now on the record in support of our courageous transgender servicemembers,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14). “Last month, I chaired a hearing of the Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee featuring the first five transgender servicemembers to openly represent themselves in front of Congress. We heard about their moving journeys, exemplary global service, and the negligible impact their transgender status has had on their careers. They deserve better than a discriminatory ban.”

“Not a single transgender soldier, willing to put their life on the line for our freedoms, should be forced to hide who they are in order to serve this country,” said Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10). “We can and must do better for these soldiers. I’m glad today’s resolution passed the House, but this is just the first step. We will not quit this fight until this discriminatory ban is ended.”           

Please contact Aliya Bean at 202-225-2305 or aliya.bean@mail.house.gov with press inquiries.

Founded in 2008, the mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Caucus, which is led by the eight openly LGBT members of Congress, is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.

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