Donald Trump’s attack on transgender service members who are serving with distinction and valor and who put their lives on the line every day to protect our country is unconscionable. It is blatant discrimination and plays on the kind of hate and bigotry that we saw during his campaign and throughout his presidency. He has once again taken steps to target the LGBTQ community and seems intent on taking our armed forces back to a time of secrecy and intimidation. As Congress debated how best to meet the medical needs of transgender Americans who who dedicate themselves to serving our country, only the most right-wing members of Congress supported an all-out ban on their service. Trump has ignored research, prior policy and simple decency in order to use transgender people as a political football for his own gain and to distract from the important issues facing our country.
Today’s announcement is more than a slap in the face to the estimated 16,000 transgender troops currently serving with honor and distinction. Contrary to the president’s statement, barring qualified and loyal Americans from serving reduces military readiness and only creates division, not cohesion. Transgender Americans have always been a part of our armed forces and will continue to do so in spite of today’s announcement.
California hosts more than 190,000 active and reserve service people from all five branches of the U.S. military and is home to three army bases, seven Marine bases, 10 navy bases, six air force bases, and five reserve and national Coast Guard bases. Equality California will continue to fight in California, in Washington, D.C. and wherever else troops are affected to ensure that transgender Americans can serve openly and with integrity.”
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org