As the Trump administration continues to push for a ban on transgender military service members, new legislation is being introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to allow open service by trans soldiers.
Calling out President Trump for the proposed ban, which was unceremoniously tweeted out in July 2017, Gillibrand said in a statement, “President Trump’s ban on transgender service members is discrimination, it undermines our military readiness, and it is an insult to the brave patriotic transgender Americans who choose to serve in our military.”
“We should end this discriminatory ban for good and ensure our transgender service members can continue to do their jobs, serve with dignity and protect our country,” she added.
Gillibrand recently announced she making a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
The legislation would ban the Pentagon from discharging any currently serving trans soldiers only on the basis of their gender identity. Additionally, new recruits could not be turned away from enlisting based only on their gender identity.
A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier. Co-sponsoring the bill in the House were Reps. Anthony Brown (D-Md), Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and John Katko (R-NY).
Last month, the Supreme Court issued a stay of injunction on two lawsuits that blocked the ban. The policy hasn’t gone into effect yet as the last lawsuit is still being appealed in Maryland.
While the House version could very well pass, the Republican majority in the Senate pretty much ensures the legislation will be dead in the water there.
However, even if the bills passed in both chambers, it would land on Donald Trump’s desk where he is sure to veto the legislation.
Both Speier and Gillibrand invited trans soldiers to attend the State of the Union address this week as their guest to highlight the issue.
In related news, one of the highest-ranking officers in the California National Guard announced the state would not discharge trans soldiers from it's ranks.
LGBT advocacy groups praised the bills:
BREAKING: Big ups to @RepSpeier and @SenGillibrand! The legislation they introduced would help ensure that #transgender service members who are otherwise qualified can continue serving our country without fear of discrimination. #TransMilitaryBan https://t.co/kVM51lBlYd
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) February 7, 2019
New bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate and House today would protect currently serving transgender service members and continue to allow new trans service members to join the military.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 7, 2019