Today, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Jack Reed (D-RI) announced the introduction of legislation to protect currently-serving transgender service members from being discharged. The bipartisan legislation is based on an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act introduced by Senators Gillibrand and Collins that was blocked yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) despite likely majority, bipartisan support in the chamber.

“Since Donald Trump announced his cruel and discriminatory ban on transgender service members, a bipartisan chorus of Americans and members of Congress have made loud and clear that our nation must protect transgender troops,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride. “Every qualified person willing to serve our country should be allowed to do so -- and be able to focus on the mission, not face attacks from their own commander-in-chief. We thank Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Susan Collins, John McCain, and Jack Reed for introduction of this bill and their leadership in defending transgender service members.”

The bill would protect transgender service members currently serving from being discharged because of their gender identity and express the sense of Congress that individuals who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be eligible to serve.

After President Trump in July unexpectedly and callously announced via Twitter that he would impose a discriminatory ban on transgender military service, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle spoke out forcefully against it. They expressed the commonly-held sentiment that anyone who is willing and able to serve in our nation’s military should be allowed to do so.

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