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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 30, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 13
LGBT military groups denounce Trump-Pence implementation plan for Transgender military ban
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LGBT military groups denounce Trump-Pence implementation plan for Transgender military ban

American Military Partner Association, OutServe-SLDN, and SPART*A blast the administration's continued discrimination against trans servicemembers

WASHINGTON - [On March 23], the nation's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military advocates responded to the heinous and continued push from the Trump-Pence Administration to implement their discriminatory transgender military ban. Implementation details for the ban were released [on March 23]. However, six separate federal courts have blocked implementation, and barring further court action, the administration cannot implement it.

'The Trump-Pence administration's continued insistence on targeting our military families for discrimination is appalling, reckless, and unpatriotic,' said Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association and spouse of an active duty US Army officer. 'Donald Trump and Mike Pence are literally wreaking havoc on the lives of our military families. Military experts thoroughly studied this issue and found [that] transgender service members should be able to serve openly with dignity and honor and receive the full support they need and deserve. This unconscionable attack on our military families cannot stand - we refuse to allow it.'

'This policy is a thinly veiled and feeble attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to justify the unnecessary discrimination of qualified patriots in order to advance their own personal agendas and in defiance of the administration's top military leadership. This plan is riddled with blatant animus, bigotry, and ignorance but conveniently void of any foundational bases or facts,' said Matt Thorn, president and CEO of OutServe-SLDN. 'We are calling this what it is - an attempt to legitimize an unwarranted and unnecessary attack that targets individuals who have volunteered their lives in support of this country. A vast majority of this country affirms that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve. Alongside our co-counsel, Lambda Legal, we will continue to push for equity and justice and block this unjustifiable animus against the transgender military community through our nation's judicial systems. To all our transgender brethren, I want to reiterate - you are not a burden and we got your six.'

'As transgender service members, we are and have always been soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen first. We serve our country honorably, in good faith,' said Blake Dremann, president of SPART*A. 'Transgender service members are currently deployed to various locations around the world in defense of our nation. They have been doing their jobs despite those who are attempting to remove them. Proving they are fully capable of doing the job they are called to do, the average transgender service member has eight years of service and served two or more deployments. There is no justification for a ban, and there is no justification for leaving our country without service members who are capable and performing their duties to the standards set forth by our commanders.'

OutServe-SLDN and Lambda Legal are currently representing the American Military Partner Association, the Human Rights Campaign, Gender Justice League, and nine individual plaintiffs in Karnoski v. Trump - one of four lawsuits challenging the transgender military ban in court.

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) is the nation's largest organization of LGBT military spouses, their families, and allies. A nonprofit organization with more than 50,000 members and supporters, AMPA is committed to education, advocacy, and support for 'modern military families.' For more information, visit www.MilitaryPartners.org.

OutServe-SLDN (OS-SLDN) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 6,000 members around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

Founded in 2013, SPART*A is an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who currently serve or have served in the US Armed Forces and their families. SPART*A's membership includes over 600 transgender Americans actively serving in the US Armed Forces. The name SPART*A originated as an acronym for 'Service Members, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All.' For more information, visit www.spartapride.org.

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