In Major Victory for LGBTQ+ Community, Annual Defense Bill Passes Without Flood of Discriminatory Provisions

by Delphine Luneau

HRC, Along With Our Partners and Champions in Congress, Stripped Out Actions Designed to Attack LGBTQ+ People From A Prior Version of the National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — celebrated the exclusion of anti-LGBTQ+ provisions from the final version of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, which had previously included everything from bans on gender affirming care to a ban on Pride flags at military bases, cleared the U.S. House of Representatives today and now heads to the President's desk for his signature.

The omission of the harmful actions was the culmination of months of effort by HRC, advocates and pro-equality lawmakers to combat a coordinated attack on LGBTQ+ people through the annual defense bill. As part of HRC’s efforts, more than 15,000 calls were placed in opposition to the discriminatory provisions, and HRC broadcast a TV ad calling on the anti-equality majority in the House to stop attacking the LGBTQ+ community and get back to doing its job.

“To an unprecedented extent, House Republican lawmakers tried to use the traditionally bipartisan, must-pass annual defense bill as a vehicle to attack LGBTQ+ service members and their families — but because of the work of champions in Congress, HRC’s supporters, and our partners in the movement, they failed,” said David Stacy, HRC Vice President of Government Affairs. “The public supports the ability of LGBTQ+ and trans people to live lives free from discrimination, and they have the strong support of the Biden administration and pro-equality lawmakers. Continued efforts by the anti-equality fringe to use every legislative vehicle they can to attack our communities will not succeed. We hope they learn their lesson.”

Among the anti-LGBTQ+ provisions that were removed from the NDAA:

  • Bans on best-practice, medically necessary health care for transgender service members and their trans family members

  • A ban on books featuring content relating to LGBTQ+ people

  • A ban on drag performances at military locations

  • A ban on flying Pride flags at military locations

  • A restriction against listing pronouns or gender in official correspondence

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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