Post submitted by Michael Toumayan, former HRC Senior Religion and Faith Program Manager

A clear majority of Americans support allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, according to a new findings released by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research organization.

The survey conducted August 2-8 found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the public favor allowing transgender people to serve, while 30 percent oppose.

Responses to the survey were sharply split along party lines, with Democrats more than twice as likely as Republicans (83 percent vs. 37 percent, respectively) to say that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces.

On July 26, President Trump posted a series of tweets announcing that, “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” This was followed by a memorandum directing the military to, in part, halt a plan that would have allowed transgender people to enlist. This ban on  new enlistments by transgender people is harmful both to transgender people and military readiness.

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit, representing nine individual plaintiffs, all of whom are transgender, and three organizational plaintiffs – the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Seattle-based Gender Justice League, and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) on behalf of their transgender members.

Estimates show there are thousands of actively-serving transgender members of the U.S. military, making the Department of Defense (DoD) the largest employer of transgender people in the United States.  Thousands of transgender Americans have served with honor and distinction in our military, including the more than 134,000 transgender veterans who are alive today.

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