SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin issued the following statement in response to today’s introduction of a stand-alone House bill to prevent President Trump from banning transgender troops. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), mirrors a bipartisan Senate bill introduced last month.
”Bipartisan Congressional support for the troops reflects the broad agreement among security leaders and the public that Americans who are able and willing to serve should be allowed to do so, and that uniformed service should be based on merit, not politics or emotion. Evidence-based research as well as the experiences of eighteen foreign militaries that allow transgender troops to serve openly confirm that inclusive policy promotes readiness. Senators and Representatives from both parties agree with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who said that banning honorably-serving transgender Americans would disrupt military operations and force service members to lie to defend their country, echoing the failure of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”