Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Forces America Backward, DeGette Says

Jul 26, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, condemned President Donald J. Trump’s announcement today that the U.S. military will no longer let transgender individuals serve "in any capacity."

“This bigoted decision won’t make us any safer,” DeGette noted. “Other countries have transgender service members – in fact, Israel has had them for years. Those serving in and out of uniform on behalf of the United States now will have to leave or keep secrets that put them at risk. This edict forces America backward, well before the questionable days of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ to the unjust era when service members stayed in the closet to avoid being persecuted or purged.”

Thousands of troops currently serving in the U.S. active duty military and reserves are transgender, according to a study by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation that has been cited by the Defense Department.

President Trump's announcement reverses a policy established in June 2016 by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter that allowed transgender troops to serve openly. Last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the Pentagon would delay this order through 2017 to review the impact of the shift.

The President's decision comes two weeks after the House of Representatives rejected an amendment to the annual defense policy authorization that would have blocked the Pentagon from offering gender transition therapies to active-duty service members. All 190 Democrats and 24 Republicans voted to reject that measure.