Senator Gillibrand and Senator Collins Introduce NDAA Amendment to End the Trans Military Ban
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that leading veteran and LGBTQ advocacy groups, including NCTE, are backing their amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act that would grant anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to transgender service members. The senators’ amendment would ensure that transgender service members receive anti-discrimination protections like those enjoyed by every other American, and would affirm that all Americans have the right to join and serve in the military, regardless of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. The bipartisan legislation has been cosponsored by more than 20 senators.
“This amendment would clarify what everyone knows—that President Trump’s capricious ban on trans military service is wrong and dangerous,” according to Mara Keisling Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “There is national consensus that trans service members are an asset to our military and discrimination is never okay.”
“We support all efforts to ensure our Nation’s military attracts and retains the best people our country has to offer. The amendment from Senator Gillibrand and Senator Collins provides opportunities for all Americans to serve with distinction and for the military to harness the talents of all who are qualified,” said Emma Shinn, President of SPART*A, the nation’s leading transgender military service organization. “The Senate should pass this bipartisan amendment, enhancing the military’s capacity and capability to defend our nation.”
"What matters for military service is whether you are capable and qualified to serve — not your gender identity, sexual orientation, or anything else that has nothing to do with the ability to accomplish the mission," said Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) Interim Executive Director Jennifer Dane. "It's far past time that Congress pass these crucially important protections into law so that every service member is protected from unjust discrimination and can focus on serving their country. We applaud Senators Gillibrand and Collins for their leadership on this important issue and are thankful for their resolve to ensure we support all of our brave patriots and their families."