Scroll To Top

Marco Rubio, Jim Banks Introduce Bills for New Transgender Military Ban

Marco Rubio, Jim Banks Introduce Bills for New Transgender Military Ban

Marco Rubio and Jim Banks

The Senate bill, called the Ensuring Military Readiness Act, would bar service for anyone who had transitioned anytime in the past 36 months before service.

President Joe Biden reversed a ban on transgender troops serving in the military in 2021, but now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana want the ban back.

The Republicans filed legislation to force a prohibition on transgender service, and want stricter screening for those who are transgender than even what occurred during former President Donald Trump’s administration.

“The military has strict standards for who can and cannot qualify to serve,” Rubio said in a statement announcing the legislation. “For example, under President Biden, you can’t serve with a peanut allergy. Biden has turned our military into a woke social experiment. It is a stupid way to go about protecting our nation. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter threats like China, Russia, and North Korea and less time thinking about pronouns.”

While Rubio has taken no steps to address peanut allergy limitations on service, he filed Senate legislation that would disqualify anyone from enlisting if they had a history of gender dysphoria. The bill, called the Ensuring Military Readiness Act, would bar service for anyone who had transitioned genders anytime in the past 36 months before service.

He also wants to ban anyone seeking or who has undergone gender-affirmation surgery. His legislation would also revise the Department of Defense enrollment system to only allow individuals to identify their gender as the one assigned at birth.

Rubio openly called for a return to the Trump-era transgender military ban. The former president announced a ban in a morning tweet in July 2017, shortly after taking office. That reversed a two-year effort under former President Barack Obama to open military service to transgender troops and allow those already in uniform to serve openly.

Days after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order lifting the transgender military ban. “America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive,” read a White House fact sheet at the time. “The military is no exception.”

But Republicans in Congress disagree. Banks, an Indiana Republican running for Senate, filed a House bill to accompany Rubio’s efforts.

“Americans who were treated for ADHD in the past two years must receive a waiver to enlist,” Banks said in a statement. “Our military holds recruits to stringent medical standards for a reason and the Biden administration’s special carveout for those suffering from gender dysphoria was purely political. Our bill ensures that DoD puts lethality and readiness before far-left ideology.”

LGBTQ+ advocacy groups condemned the renewed effort to deny transgender Americans the ability to serve.

“In attempting to revive the ban on transgender people serving in the military, Senator Rubio and Congressman Banks are attacking thousands of brave and honorable servicemembers and veterans and sending a message to transgender people that they are unfit to serve our country simply because of who they are,” reads a statement from Brandon Wolf, a spokesperson for Equality Florida, the largest LGBTQ+ rights group in Rubio’s home state.

“This disgraceful, alarming move openly discriminates against those servicemembers stationed around the world who willingly serve and is a dangerous escalation of the scapegoating of transgender people by right wing politicians to score cheap points,” Wolf said. “There are over 15,000 openly transgender people proudly serving in our military. They and future generations of transgender people have a right to serve the nation they love. We must stand together to prevent the clock from being turned back by ignorance and bigotry.”

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Jacob Ogles