New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and
New Hampshire Representative Chris Pappas have each invited
transgender veterans to be their guests at President Donald Trump's
State of the Union address.
Gillibrand, who has formed an
exploratory committee to look into running for the 2020 Democratic
presidential nomination, has invited Navy Lieutenant Commander Blake
Dremann as her guest.
Dremann, a decorated officer, is the
president of SPARTA, an organization which advocates on behalf of
transgender service members.
Pappas, who is openly gay, has invited
Travion Dignard, who served 4 years in the Navy and was honorably
discharged, to be his guest at the president's Tuesday address.
Dignard is currently an undergraduate at the University of New
Gillibrand also announced on Monday
that she would introduce legislation that would protect transgender
“I am proud to lead this fight and I
urge all of my Senate colleagues to join me in supporting this
legislation,” Gillibrand said.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court
allowed Trump's ban on transgender troops to take effect as several
cases wind their way through the legal system. Gillibrand called
Trump's ban “cruel.”
Court allows Trump's transgender military ban to take effect.)
“[T]ransgender service members …
make extraordinary sacrifices every day to defend our freedom and our
most sacred values, and President Trump's decision to ban them from
military service is cruel and undermines our military readiness,”