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Joint TAVA/AVER statement re. Transgender Service ruling

On Friday January 4th the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacated one of four injunctions preventing the Administration from implementing its ban on transgender military service.  Three other injunctions continue to prevent implementing a ban on transgender service.  The court conflict, however, advances the likelihood that the Administration’s ban will be considered by the Supreme Court.  The Administration had already requested the Supreme Court to skip waiting for a conflict to consider its ban, prior to the current DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling.

Banning patriotic Transgender volunteers from serving openly and proudly will force those who want to serve back into hiding, hindering the readiness of our armed forces, and be detrimental to recruitment at a time when the strength of our armed forces is essential.

Evan Young, President TAVA, said, “the Transgender American Veterans Association condemns the D.C. Court of Appeals lifting the injunction on the ban of transgender troops. Transgender service members are highly capable and have proven their worthiness of serving since our nations first wars. Inclusion of transgender service members is an integral part of unit cohesiveness and military readiness. Transgender actively serving and veterans alike have patriotically sacrificed their life to defend this nation, and we all are safer for it.”

Julz Carey, President of AVER, said that, “American values are upheld for the world to see when our armed forces are fully inclusive of all able bodied Americans who choose to volunteer to serve with courage and pride.  Banning Transgender troops or any minority diminishes our democracy, our national identity, and our readiness to defend freedom.”

American Veterans For Equal Rights (aver.us) is the nation’s LGBT veterans’ service organization serving the needs of our veterans and advocating for the rights and benefits of LGBT service members and veterans.

Transgender American Veterans Association (transveteran.org) is the national Transgender service organization advocating for the rights and benefits of Transgender service members and veterans.

Denny Meyer

Sgt. First Class Denny Meyer, the son of WWII Holocaust refugees, was reared bilingually in the mid 1940s postwar immigrant refugee community on New York City ‘s Upper West Side . His mother, he notes with pride, arrived at Ellis Island as an illegal alien fleeing Nazi persecution. She taught him that, “there is nothing more precious than American Freedom.”

He has been an activist for over 50 years, starting with his first march with the NAACP at the age of 13 in 1960, working for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights and transgender rights for our military service members and veterans.

In 1968 he volunteered, “To pay my country back for my family’s freedom.” He served for ten years in two services; in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier, in a Huey helicopter squadron HQ, at NATO US headquarters; and in specialized Army Reserve units; and served as an inter-agency liaison and negotiator.

Sgt. Denny has spoken at universities and colleges including Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Hofstra, and Lehman (CUNY) among other venues; combining history, humor, pathos, and anger to tell his story.

In addition to serving as TAVA’s Media Director, he is the national Public Affairs and Veterans Affairs officer of AVER and edits GayMilitarySignal.com.

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