HRC responds to the U.S. House passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA includes an amendment offered by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) that would codify non-discrimination protections in the military and end the ban on transgender military service.

“Today’s vote sends a powerful message to our transgender troops, their families, and their fellow service members that they have our country’s full support,” says Sarah McBride, HRC National Press Secretary. “We are grateful to all the troops and veterans who spoke out against this discriminatory ban, and to our partners who helped lead the fight. Reps. Adam Smith and Jackie Speier, along with fellow members of Congress, tirelessly advocated for equality in our country and helped ensure that transgender service members can serve our nation openly and freely.”

Sponsored by Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), the National Defense Authorization Act authorizes FY2020 appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense programs and activities. The defense authorization bill includes several amendments including: 

  • An amendment offered by Speier that would codify the military’s existing equal opportunity policies to include non-discrimination protections on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation, and end the ban on transgender military service; 
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) that would make it easier for service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to upgrade their discharge characterization;
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) that would require a report to gather vital information to analyze the effect of the ban on transgender military service. 

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