The Trump administration’s controversial rule barring transgender individuals from serving openly in the military went into effect April 12, reversing a policy the Obama administration had put in place three years earlier.
AFGE National Vice President for Women & Fair Practices Jeremy Lannan issued a strongly worded statement condemning the new policy, which he said forces transgender individuals “to choose whether they want to hide their gender, be given a ‘distressed’ diagnosis by a doctor, or be denied the ability to serve their country.”
“It cuts me to the core to know that my sisters and brothers who identify by a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth will now be forced to make such an unenviable choice because of a policy that has no actual bearing on someone’s ability to serve in the armed forces. And I’m at a loss for words why President Trump is trying to hurt our military by attacking Americans who just want to serve their country,” Lannan said.
AFGE’s Women’s & Fair Practices Departments works every day to eliminate employment discrimination based on sex, and the president’s policy goes against those efforts, Lannan said.
“On behalf of our union and AFGE Pride, we call on the president to lift this transgender ban and allow any American who wants to serve in the military to do so proudly – and not be forced to hide in the shadows. Every American should be allowed to live their truth, especially if they have signed up to risk their lives for our freedom and protection,” he said.
“Denying anyone who has served in the U.S. military their rights and their benefits is despicable and a dishonor that we should all be standing against.”