Today, the Biden administration announced an executive order overturning a Trump-era rule that barred additional transgender people from serving openly in the military. Applauding the action, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, incoming chair of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, released the following statement:
“I applaud the Biden administration for taking swift action to overturn the harmful and discriminatory ban on transgender people serving openly in our military. For years, I have worked with colleagues across the aisle to end blatant discrimination in our armed services and ensure anti-discrimination protections are extended to every American. Individuals who are willing to put on the uniform of our country and risk their lives to defend our freedoms should be received with commendation, not prejudice. I’m proud that our armed services will once again embrace the principle that anyone who can meet military standards should be allowed to serve, regardless of gender identity.”
Senator Gillibrand is a longtime champion of anti-discrimination protections in the military. In 2017, Gillibrand and U.S Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) joined the late Senator John McCain to introduce a bipartisan bill that would protect transgender service members by preventing the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity, and introduced similar legislation in 2019. Serving previously as ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, Gillibrand repeatedly pressed U.S. military leaders on trans service members’ ability to serve and fought for an anti-discrimination amendment to NDAA.