March 28, 2019


President Trump’s trans military ban rejected in bipartisan vote

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III today applauded the overwhelming, bipartisan rejection of President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. With a vote of 238-185, the House of Representatives urged the Department of Defense to not reinstate a discriminatory policy that will impact thousands of active duty servicemembers and countless future recruits.

“Equal has always been this nation’s north star. Too often we have fallen short in that pursuit of equality, and too often men and women willing to die in wars for this country have returned home to a government that considers them second class citizens,” said Congressman Kennedy. “Today, the House of Representatives rejected a misguided, bigoted ban on transgender servicemembers and a return to some of the darkest days in our nation’s history. But more than that, this resolution sends a message to all transgender troops, all transgender men, women and children, and all Americans that your government sees you, hears you, and you count.”

Kennedy serves as chairman of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force. Following the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, he introduced the Do No Harm Act with Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), which would amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to preserve civil rights. Last year, Kennedy led nearly 100 colleagues demanding the rejection of a proposed policy by the Department of Health and Human Services to redefine “sex” to exclude the transgender community and deny them basic civil rights protections. He has been a proud co-sponsor of major equality legislation, from the Equality Act to the Global Respect Act to the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

"Passage of this resolution signals to our transgender siblings-in-arms, veterans, and hopeful recruits that our House of Representatives stands with and supports their open service during a time in which their Commander-in-Chief is actively working to prevent the same," said OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Andy Blevins. "These selfless patriots, who happen to be transgender, have proven time and again that they are qualified, able, and willing to honorably continue their military service. We applaud the leaders that voted in favor of this Resolution and look forward to working alongside them as we solidify authentic service for all qualified individuals once and for all."

“The military wants and needs transgender service members, but this President is ready to put his own prejudice ahead of science and military readiness,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “It is more important than ever for Congress to stand up for troops and reject this flagrantly dangerous policy. We thank Rep. Kennedy for sponsoring this resolution and thank every one of our elected representatives who are standing up for transgender people, our rights, and the brave members of our community serving in uniform.”


For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2019 

Dan Black (202) 225-5931