August 29, 2017


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III along with Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and more than 140 of their colleagues today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reverse his intolerant, unconstitutional transgender military ban. As Chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force, Kennedy has been an outspoken opponent of the President’s attacks on transgender servicemembers.
“By reflecting our nation’s diversity and decency, our military exports our values and establishes our standing as a beacon of hope around the world,” said Congressman Kennedy. “When our troops step forward and volunteer to defend our safety and security at home and abroad, they do not restrict their service by color, creed or gender identity. With this bigoted ban, President Trump questioned the loyalty, courage and compassion of not only transgender servicemembers, but all of those who serve by their side.”
President Trump’s rhetoric incorrectly states that transgender servicemembers cause a “disruption” or “burden” to the military. Furthermore, A 2016 study conducted by the RAND Corporation — a nonpartisan, nonprofit military think tank founded by the U.S. Air Force — suggested that allowing transgender individuals to serve openly would have “no significant impact on unit cohesion or operational readiness.”
“Implicitly, your ban denies the value of transgender servicemembers, and it questions the professionalism of those who serve beside them. Our Armed Forces have grown more equal and more inclusive over time, often in the face of strident opposition,” wrote the Representatives in their letter. “In 1948, when President Truman moved to racially integrate the military, voices were raised in protest. They were raised again in 2010, when Congress at last repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ At every turn, those voices have been proven wrong.”
The Representatives cite barring Americans’ future service to their country, potentially forcing the discharge of active duty servicemembers, and lack of evidence to support claims of medical costs as reasoning for reversing the ban on transgender individuals serving in the armed forces. 
To read the full letter, please click here.

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For Immediate Release:
August 29, 2017
Emily Kaufman (617) 332-3333
Dan Black (202) 225-5931

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