Today Equality Federation hailed the Pentagon’s announcement that it would lift the ban on openly transgender service members.
Thousands of patriotic transgender Americans already serve in our military and are putting their lives on the line. This policy allows them to serve openly and with honor and integrity.
Veterans and active duty service members led the charge for this policy update. Advocates from the Palm Center and SPARTA worked with defense officials, former generals, and countless others to elevate the voices of patriotic transgender Americans, showing our military leaders why allowing transgender people to serve openly and with integrity is critical to military readiness and to the well-being of all those who risk their lives for our freedom.
This policy is an important step forward for patriotic transgender service members who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms. It is not perfect, but it’s an important step. The US military is the largest employer of transgender people in the world, employing an estimated 15,000 transgender people today. Updating its policy to ensure these patriotic Americans do not face discrimination allows them to serve openly and with integrity, and demonstrates that transgender people – like all Americans – should be judged for their qualifications, nothing more, nothing less.
It is important to note that we still have more to do to ensure transgender service members, veterans, and civilians are treated fairly. In a majority of states, under state law, hardworking transgender people can be legally fired, denied housing, or refused service at a business simply because of who they are.
Transgender people are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They are veterans who have served with honor, and active duty service members who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms. When it comes to being able to earn a living, having a place to live, or being served by a business, they should be treated like anyone else and not be discriminated against.
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