Washington (July 26, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after President Donald Trump this morning tweeted that, “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
“Donald Trump powered his campaign for President by belittling prisoners of war and insulting a Gold Star family, and now he’s targeting the transgender servicemembers who protect our freedoms and democracy with honor and courage. Transgender servicemembers aren’t a distraction, they are dedicated patriots and Americans welcome their service and love of country. By threatening to kick skilled military professionals out of the military based only on their gender identity, President Trump is undermining our military readiness and the Defense Department’s success in building a diverse, cohesive military that respects the human dignity of all of its members. President Trump is playing to the worst instincts of prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance with this ban. Division and exclusion only makes our military weaker, not stronger.
“President Trump’s transgender military ban, like his Muslim ban, is un-American and unconstitutional. Every American, no matter their race, faith, sexual orientation, or gender identity, should be allowed to express their commitment to the United States through military service, and those individuals deserve our respect and support.”
In 2015, the State Department created a new position of Special Envoy for LGBTI Human Rights after Senator Markey and his colleagues introduced legislation calling for the creation of the position to affirm LGBT rights are a foreign policy priority for the United States.