Lawmakers introduce legislation to protect transgender servicemembers
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Oct 18, 2017
House lawmakers have introduced legislation that would prohibit the Defense Department from involuntarily separating or denying reenlistment opportunities to transgender servicemembers.
The bipartisan bill, H.R. 4041, would make it illegal to remove members from the armed services solely based on their gender identities.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said doing so would be “hateful” and “discriminatory.”
“Our military should be focused on recruiting and retaining the best troops, not on rejecting qualified service members on the basis of discrimination,” she said in a statement.
The bill would also require Defense Secretary Mattis to review accession of transgender individuals into the Armed Forces by the end of this year and report the results to Congress.
“The decision by the administration to not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military is a sad reminder of the dark chapters in our nation's history that should never be repeated,” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said, adding, “The courts have usually been forced to adjudicate what constitutes discrimination but once again Congress is saying: no more. Any patriot, as long as they are qualified to serve, should have the ability to, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”