In the 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama declared that our military was now open to all residents of the United States, because “starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country because of who they love.” But apparently President Obama failed to realize that transgender people are still barred from open military service. While we appreciate the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we are disappointed that transgender people have been left out of this dialogue completely. We are not moving forward “as one nation” because trans individuals are still systematically excluded. President Obama calls for our schools to open up to ROTC because it is no longer a discriminatory institution. Communities who stand in solidarity with our transgender peers oppose opening our doors to military recruitment. Tell President Obama that contrary to his statements in the State of the Union address, the military engages in explicit discrimination.
- The President of the United States
In your State of the Union Address, you celebrated the fact that “Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.”
But although we have made progress, the struggle continues. Transgender people are still explicitly banned from serving openly. I cannot support such arbitrary forms of discrimination within the United States military.
I stand in solidarity with my transgender peers, and I urge you to do the same.
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