The House of Representatives have voted to block the Pentagon from accessing funds that will implement Donald Trump’s barbaric and homophobic transgender military ban.
Representative Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland who once served in the U.S. army, delivered a passionate speech on Tuesday (18 June) in which he championed for the trans community to serve their country.
“The President and his administration wrongfully argue that it’s about military readiness and unit cohesion, but these arguments are the same ones that were made to keep the military racially segregated,” he said during the debate.
“My service in an integrated armed forces did not harm readiness, and neither does the service of the more than 14,000 transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Transgender service members increase lethality, readiness.”
He continued: “They have served honorably and have received prestigious commendations.”
Californian Republican, Ken Calvert, opposed the decision and said it “risks undermining the readiness of our military at a time when we can least afford it” and argued that the policy is not a ban on service by transgender individuals.
“It carefully balances the readiness needs of the military with the medical needs of transgender individuals who wish to serve.”
The President of the United States first took to Twitter in 2017 to announce that anyone who identifies as trans will no longer be allowed to serve their country, citing “tremendous medical costs” and “disruption” by trans individuals.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military,” he wrote.
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
The policy went into effect earlier this year by the Supreme Court.
The conservative majority court voted in favour 5-4, with four liberal judges on the court opposing the policy. Although the decision is temporary, this means that the Trump administration will be able to enforce the ban while the case proceeds.
“There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops,” said HRC president Chad Griffin after the ruling.
Senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT & HIV Project, Joshua Block, slammed the policy and said it “effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country, and makes it clear that transgender service members are not welcome.”
The Supreme Court’s decision means that transgender people will have a number of challenging requirements in store if they want to serve their country. They can refuse potential recruits who have transitioned and have a history of ‘gender dysphoria’.