House approves ‘Harry Truman’ amendment to restore trans military service

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), second from right, joins transgender service members in the Capitol Rotunda Feb. 5, 2019. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

The U.S. House approved on Thursday an amendment as part of major defense policy legislation that would not only restore only transgender military service, but prohibit the U.S. armed forces from discriminating against LGBT service members.

The House approved the measure, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), by a party-line vote of 242-187 as part of the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill.

Continue Reading >>

House votes to defund trans military ban in rebuke to Trump

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

The U.S. House delivered on Tuesday evening a stinging rebuke to President Trump’s transgender military ban, adopting an amendment that would bar the use of U.S. funds to pay for the policy.

The vote on the amendment, introduced by Reps. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), was 243-183 and largely along party lines. The measure was adopted as part of $983 billion minibus legislation for fiscal year 2020 seeking to fund the Defense Department, as well as labor, health and human services, education, state-foreign operations and energy and water development.

Continue Reading >>

House to vote on amendment to defund Trump trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), on left, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), second from right, join transgender service members in the Capitol Rotunda before the State of the Union Address on Feb. 5, 2019. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. House is set to vote on a measure that would prohibit use of U.S. funds to implement President Trump’s transgender military ban.

The House Rules Committee this week approved for debate as part of defense appropriations legislation an amendment introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) that would bar the use of funds to implement the anti-trans policy.

Continue Reading >>

SERVE Act seeks to aid trans troops discharged under Trump ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Rep. Chris Pappas (L), has introduced the SERVE Act to aid transgender troops. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In the wake of the Trump administration implementing its ban on transgender military service, Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House that seeks to ensure service members discharged under the policy are eligible for care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Securing the Rights our Veterans Earned Act, or SERVE Act, requires the VA to provide health benefits to these troops if they obtain an “Other Than Honorable” or “Entry-Level Separation” discharge because of their gender identity.

Continue Reading >>

Rep. Kennedy leads congressional resolution against Trump trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) is set to introduce a resolution in the U.S. House rejecting President Trump’s transgender military ban as a discriminatory policy based on junk science, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Kennedy, chair of the Congressional Transgender Task Force, is set to introduce the non-binding resolution against the policy in the U.S. House on Feb 11. A Kennedy aide said 103 co-sponsors have signed on to the legislation, but that list is expected to grow.

Continue Reading >>

Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduce bills to protect transgender servicemembers

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Feb. 7 introduced bills that would allow openly transgender people to enlist in the military and protect trans servicemembers who are already serving.

U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced House Resolution 1032 in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced an identical bill in the U.S. Senate.

Continue Reading >>

Transgender troops to attend State of the Union as Trump pursues ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

As the Trump administration pursues a transgender military ban, at least four lawmakers have invited transgender people with records of military service to attend to President Trump’s State of the Union address in the House chamber in protest over his policy.

Although courts had initially blocked the Defense Department from implanting Trump’s reversal, the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month issued stays on those decisions, essentially green lighting the ban. (One injunction issued by a federal court against Trump’s policy remains in place for the time being, but the Justice Department is challenging that order.)

Continue Reading >>

Bipartisan amendment introduced against Trump’s trans military ban

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is among a bipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to amend a defense bill against Trump’s trans military ban. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed an amendment to major defense policy legislation that would abrogate President Trump’s ban on transgender military service.

Continue Reading >>

Bipartisan legislation introduced to protect trans servicemembers

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

California Reps. Jackie Speier and Susan Davis joined four other members of Congress on Friday to introduce a bipartisan bill intended to protect transgender military servicemembers under siege by the Trump administration. H.R. 4041 prohibits the Department of Defense from discharging trans members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said the current policy of trans open service remains in effect until he has had a chance to develop a policy, under President Trump’s orders, based on recommendations from a panel of experts. Trans servicemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without incident. However, in a sudden series of tweets last July 26, Trump issued a directive ordering Mattis and the Pentagon to reverse the Obama-era policy and kick out all transgender individuals working in any capacity and prevent any recruitment or promotion through the accessions policy. Trump gave Mattis six months to come up with a new personnel policy, while Mattis is simultaneously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. LGBT groups have urged Mattis to recruit trans people with military or national security experience to sit on that panel of experts.

Continue Reading >>