Senators Announce Effort to Fight Trump's Transgender Military Ban

September 13, 2017Sep 13, 2017

Donald Trump's transgender military ban has stirred quite a bit of controversy. As figures in both parties have spoke out against it, a group of Senators have introduced a bill amendment to block the transgender ban from taking place. 

According to the Daily Caller, the amendment would "express a sense of Congress" that anyone who is qualified and can pass standards should be allowed to serve. This echoes the same sentiment as the Obama administration. The National Defense Authorization Act, where the amendment is included, will also block the Pentagon from "involuntarily separating, or denying the reenlistment or continuation in service in the Armed Forces of, currently serving transgender service members," insofar as they are targeted for their gender identity. 

The mandate, reports the Daily Caller, proposes that Defense Secretary James Mattis continue with a report on transgender recruits and release findings to Congress. 

The two Senators to introduce this amendment are Democrat Kisten Gillibrand (NY) and Republican Susan Collins (ME). Both of them have been outspoken against Trump's transgender military ban since it was announced. Here is Kristen Gillibrand speaking out against the ban in July.

According to another source, after the Obama administration opened up military recruitment to transgender individuals in 2016, Defense Secretary James Mattis began a study on the impact of the change. The study was still being conducted when President Trump announced via Twitter that transgenders will no longer be allowed to serve.

Senator John McCain, who prevented the Republicans from repealing Obamacare, will lead the NDAA Senator debate this week. When Trump tweeted about the ban last month, John McCain responded that the ban was a "step in the wrong direction" and that the Mattis study should be completed before a decision is made. John McCain has long been a supporter of gay and transgender persons openly serving in the military. He has also been a fierce opponent of Trump's America First agenda.

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