Scott Statement on President Trump’s Anti-Transgender Policy for Service Members

July 26, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Congressman Bobby Scott issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement on his personal twitter account that transgender individuals will no longer be permitted to serve in any capacity in the United States Armed Forces.

“This morning, the country woke up to the news that President Trump unilaterally plans to bar the service of transgender persons in our nation’s military. This announcement places the estimated 15,000 transgender Americans who are currently serving our country at risk of being discharged. President Trump’s action undermines morale and further devalues the service and sacrifice of the more than 130,000 transgender veterans alive today. 

“I proudly represent a district that is home to tens of thousands of individuals who currently serve or who have served in our nation’s military. And just this past weekend, the Hampton Roads region was honored to have President Trump at Naval Station Norfolk to commission the new U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, where he was surrounded by diverse servicemen and women who work together as a unit for the defense of our nation.

“However, I hope the President realizes that our military did not get to reflect our nation's remarkable diversity by accident. Exactly 69 years ago today, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military. Likewise, in 2010, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals to openly serve in our military. And in 2013, the Obama Administration moved to lift the ban prohibiting women from serving in combat.

“We know that this expansion of opportunity to serve did not eliminate all of the challenges many of our service members face overnight. But what is clear is that the closing of opportunities for any person, who wants to serve our nation in uniform, on account of their race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity is a giant step backwards for both the nation and our military. President Trump’s actions undermine the very bedrock of the principles of freedom that those who serve our nation in uniform defend.” 

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