- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2019

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing back on President Trump’s transgender troop ban that the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect last month.

The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, and Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat and chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, seeks to protect transgender troops and prevent the Defense Department from removing service members due to their gender identity.

“President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination, it undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave and patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military,” Ms. Gillibrand argued.

In her statement, she cited military officials from all five major service branches who testified that transgender service members have long served in the military without problems.

“The president’s bigoted decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military, carries with it echoes of some of the most ignorant, intolerant moments in our history that saw women, black Americans, gays and lesbians barred from fully participating in our Armed Forces,” said Rep. Anthony Brown, Maryland Democrat and co-sponsor of the House bill.

Additional co-sponsors of the bills include Sens. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, and Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat; and Reps. Joseph Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, John Katko, New York Republican, and Susan Davis, California Democrat.

Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement to ban transgender people from serving in the military came in July 2017. Despite moves by the lower courts to block the policy, the ban was allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court in January of this year.

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