Stop the President's misguided effort to ban transgender people from military service.
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During your address to the nation at Fort Myer on August 21, you said:
"The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt … Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate."
Excluding people based solely on who they are is the very definition of prejudice and bigotry. If you truly believe that patriotism means rooting out prejudice, you must ensure that your actions—and those of your administration—match your rhetoric. You must unequivocally condemn public, hate-based actions that your supporters take in your name, and you must reconsider actions that promote discrimination, including your decision to purge thousands of transgender troops from the United States military and ban transgender people from enlisting.
Moving forward with this reckless and unconstitutional scheme will make you responsible for inflicting moral wounds on over a million transgender Americans—which, by your own words, means that you will be responsible for inflicting yet another a wound upon us all. It is particularly harmful to transgender service members and veterans who have served capably, and to young transgender Americans who hear in your words that they are a “burden” and a “disruption.” Your administration has already done considerable damage to LGBTQ Americans and to our shared values of fairness and inclusion, belying your promise to be a “friend” to our community during your campaign. By stopping this plan now, you can avoid doing any further harm and allow the military to continue with the plan it already had in place after careful study to let transgender troops serve openly and with integrity.
Thousands of loyal and capable transgender people are currently thriving in military careers. Many have been serving openly for the last year. Military leaders in 18 other countries, top generals and admirals in our own military, and dozens of members of the U.S. Congress—from both sides of the aisle—have expressed support for the continued inclusion of transgender people in the armed services. Allowing transgender people to continue serving openly is not only in line with our values, it also improves military readiness.
We, the undersigned, call on you to match your actions to your words and reverse your decision to ban transgender people from the military.
Today: National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is counting on you
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