A bipartisan group of House members
introduced legislation on Friday which seeks to block President
Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops.
Trump tweeted in July his call to
completely barring transgender people from serving in the military.
Roughly a month later, the White House issued guidance on
implementing Trump's ban.
In his memo, Trump claims that the
Obama administration “failed to identity a sufficient basis” to
end the military ban – which was rolled back in June, 2016 – and
orders the Pentagon to reinstate the policy, arguing that transgender
people are a “disruption” to the military.
Introduced by Democratic
Representatives Jackie Speier and Susan Davis of California, Adam
Smith of Washington and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, along with
Republican Representatives Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the proposed legislation would prevent the
Department of Defense from removing currently serving members of the
military based solely on their gender identity.
A companion Senate bill was introduced
last month by a bipartisan group of Senators, including Kirsten
Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, John McCain, a Republican from
Arizona, Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Susan Collins,
a Republican from Maine.
“Kicking out members of the United
States Armed Services solely based on their gender identity is
hateful, discriminatory, and on the wrong side of history,” Speier
said in a statement. “News flash, Mr. President – thousands of
transgender troops already serve our country with pride and dignity.
Our military should be focused on recruiting and retaining the best
troops, not on rejecting qualified service members on the basis of
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights group, applauded the bill's
“Transgender troops serve this nation
with distinction and honor, and President Trump’s unpatriotic
attack on their service is unconscionable,” said Stephen Peters,
HRC National Press Secretary and a Marine Corps veteran. “Qualified
Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for their
fellow citizens should be allowed to do so – regardless of their
gender identity. We thank Representatives Jackie Speier, Charlie
Dent, Susan Davis, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Adam Smith, and Kyrsten
Sinema for their leadership in defending transgender service
lawsuits challenging implementation of Trump's ban have been filed.