Human Rights Campaign Slams Marco Rubio, Jim Banks Effort to Reinstate Trump-Era Ban on Military Service by Transgender People

by HRC Staff

Washington, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — blasted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-03) for introducing legislation to reinstate the Trump-era ban on transgender military service.

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson issued the following statement today:

“We should be honoring anyone who chooses to serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. They are our heroes. They deserve our gratitude and respect. It is despicable that Senator Rubio and Congressman Banks are harkening back to an unpopular, Trump-era policy that would make it impossible for nearly every transgender American to serve openly in the military. The current policy is working and makes our military stronger. This is nothing more than a political stunt, aimed at riling up an extremist base at the expense of what is best for our military, and it will fail.”

Thousands of transgender people serve in the U.S. military today, making the Department of Defense (DOD) the largest employer of transgender people in America. The Trump-era ban on military service had a detrimental impact on our nation’s military readiness and on transgender service members risking their lives around the world – sometimes in combat zones. It’s critical that the U.S. Armed Forces are able to recruit the best candidates and retain highly-trained, talented transgender service members.

After extensive study by the Pentagon, the Obama administration and the leadership of the Pentagon moved forward with the elimination of the transgender military ban and allowed transgender service members to serve openly. In July 2017, President Trump announced a full ban on Twitter without any consultation with Pentagon leaders. HRC, represented by its attorneys at Lambda Legal and Modern Military Association of America, joined individual transgender servicemembers in suing the Trump administration.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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