Bipartisan Lawmakers Attempt To Write Trans Military Service Into Law

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives is looking to protect transgender military service members with a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The amendment, if adopted, would codify the Obama-era open-service policies into law, thus blocking Donald Trump’s proposed ban of trans service members.

The proposed amendment to the NDAA was drafted by Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier (Calif.), A. Donald McEachin (Va.) and Susan Davis (Calif.) and moderate Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), whose son is transgender.

The House Rules Committee, which will determine which amendments will actually get a vote on the floor of the House, is set to meet Monday and Tuesday this week. Votes on the NDAA are scheduled for later this week.

As you may recall, Donald Trump surprised folks when he tweeted from out of nowhere that he wished to place a ban on transgender service members in the U.S. military.

In August of last year, Trump told reporters that he was "doing the military a great favor" by attempting to ban trans service members.

In October, a federal judge effectively blocked Donald Trump's proposed ban on transgender service members in the military saying the ban was "driven by a desire to express disapproval of transgender people generally."

Last month, top military leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps said they have seen no evidence of morale, discipline or unit readiness problems with transgender troops now serving openly in the military.

Trump's ban is currently in legal limbo as four different federal courts have placed a hold on the executive order.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman of the Western District of Washington observed while Trump says he consulted “generals and military experts” about the trans military ban last year, his lawyers couldn’t name one general or military expert that he actually talked to. 

In her injunction against the ban, Judge Perchman wrote that the proposed ban was “devised by the President, and the President alone.”

(image via Flickr/photographer Ted Eytan)

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