Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat
from New York, on Monday introduced an amendment that seeks to block
President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops.
According to the
Blade, the two-page amendment was filed for consideration as
part of the 2018 defense authorization bill and could see a vote as
soon as this week.
Maine Senator Susan Collins, a
Republican, has co-sponsored the measure.
Gillibrand and Collins, both of whom
have spoken out against Trump's ban, reiterated their opposition in a
“Any individual who wants to join our
military and meets the standards should be allowed to serve, period.
Gender identity should have nothing to do with it,” Gillibrand
said. “I am proud to work with Sen. Collins to introduce our
bipartisan amendment to protect transgender members of our Armed
Forces, and I will always fight for our brave transgender troops who
put their lives on the line to protect our country.”
Collins added: “Our armed forces
should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing
and capable of serving our country. If individuals are willing to
put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk
their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our
gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”
Late last month, the White House issued
guidance on implementing Trump's ban, which he first announced on
Trump's guidance directs the military
to bar transgender people from entering the military and to stop
paying for the transition-related health care of active duty
transgender troops, but stops short of banning transgender troops,
leaving the decision of what the military should do about active-duty
transgender troops to military leaders.
directs Pentagon to ban transgender recruits.)
While the Gillibrand-Collins amendment
states that a service member “may not be involuntarily separated
from the Armed Forces, or denied reenlistment or continuation in
service in the Armed Forces, solely on the basis of the member’s
gender identity,” it does not direct the Pentagon to accept
transgender people into the armed forces. Instead, it relies on a
military study on the issue announced June 30 by Defense Secretary
James Mattis, setting a February 21 deadline for the study to reach
The amendment also does not mention the
issue of transition-related health care, presumably an attempt to
gain support among Senate Republicans.
rejects Vicky Hartzler amendment that sought to block health care for