U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III today introduced a nonbinding resolution opposing Donald Trump's ban on military service by transgender people and urging the Department of Defense to not reinstate the ban.
"No one willing to serve in our armed services and sacrifice for this country should be subjected to intolerance and bigotry from their commander in chief," Kennedy said in a press release. "But beyond the message sent to our service members, the president's tweets sent a hateful, harmful message to every single transgender man, woman and child in this nation. Today, my colleagues and I are not only rejecting this misguided policy, but telling every transgender American that they are seen, they are heard, and they will not be erased or discounted by their government."
One hundred eleven other members of the House of Representatives consponsored the resolution with Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and chair of the Equality Caucus's Transgender Equality Task Force. The resolution has the support of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, the Palm Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal.
"Our service members should never be subjected to such animus and bigotry, and none of them should ever be forced to live a lie in order to serve their country," Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in the release. "The new pro-equality majority of the House is in a unique position to finally put a check on this reckless president and his constant attempts to erase transgender people. We thank Representative Kennedy for introducing this resolution and every sponsor for standing up against this foolish and prejudiced ban."
Kennedy is also a lead sponsor of legislation that would block the ban, which the Supreme Court recently ruled could go into effect while challenges to it move through lower courts. Senate and House versions of the bill were introduced last week to stop the ban, which Trump announced via Twitter in 2017, reversing its lifting during Barack Obama's presidency. Kennedy has championed many other pro-LGBTQ bills and policies as well.