On Thursday July 13th 2017 the US House of Representatives will consider and vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, with minimal or no debate, that would prohibit any funding of medical treatment of transgender service members and families.
This would be the first Congressional anti-transgender legislation in US history; setting a sad precedent of federal discrimination against our nation’s finest patriots who have volunteered to serve in our armed forces. The amendment is based on exaggerated and false data as well as outdated and prejudiced assumptions. In fact transgender American patriots have been serving in our armed forces throughout our nation’s history and openly for nearly a year without any impact upon readiness or our ability to defend freedom around the world.
Evan Young, President of Transgender American Veterans Association, stated,
“We denounce Representative Harztler’s introduction of this discriminating amendment. Her attempt at impeding patriotic transgender Americans from basic medically necessary care is not only completely unconstitutional, it is also bigoted and uneducated. Transgender service members have been serving, openly and authentically, since October 2016 with zero impact on readiness. During this time, they have received the appropriate medical care necessary. Rolling back the basic care given will harm the readiness of our great nation, and her comments are seen as unpatriotic and bigoted.”
“Military medical care should be decided by military doctors, not congress. Care that is medically necessary should never be denied. Service members put their lives on the line for us, and they make sacrifices every day. Basic medical care should not be one of those sacrifices. As a patriotic American veteran, I stand with the military in their decision to provide medically necessary care for transgender service members and their families.”
Steve Loomis, LTC, US Army Retired, President of American Veterans for Equal Rights said, “I am tremendously disappointed that we would deny full medical benefits to our transgender service members and their families, these members have served their country by going in harms way. Thousands of our current and former military patriots have proudly served, always including transgender service members. As transgender services members have protected and served their country it is time for us to serve and protect them.”
To deny medically necessary care to our troops and their families puts America in last place behind other nations such as Great Britain, Israel, Canada (18 countries all together) for taking care of their service members. We are a strong diversified nation that proudly supports an integrated non-discriminatory uniformed services, unsegregated by race, tribe, religion, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Amendments to limit our military’s ability to care for our troops have no place in America.