Military Anti-Discrimination Act of 2020

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U.S. Service Members help protect Americans’ basic rights to work without fear of being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, absence of religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or political affiliation. However, troops do not have the same basic rights! It is time to demand congress to pass a bill to allow service members the ability to bring claims against the federal government for discrimination.

In 2018, US Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Stremel and his autistic son were being physically attacked and abused. Stremel went to the Navy’s domestic violence shelter and they turned him away because on the basis of gender. He was told that it would be “inappropriate for a man to be in a shelter” and that male victims do not get the same services as women do. As a result, he and his son were abused again. And again. And again. They turned him and his son away 4 times, never called the police, never called Child Protective Services, and refused to make a report of any kind.

When Stremel tried to appeal their actions within his chain of command, they not only tried to cover up the discrimination, but orchestrated a smear campaign to label Stremel as a child abuser instead of the victim. Although the Navy eventually admitted they lied about Stremel abusing his son, the damage has been done. Stremel lost full custody of his son and spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to hold the Navy accountable. The Department of Justice admitted he was discriminated against, but told him that a “legal loophole” prohibited him from filing a lawsuit, granting the Department of Defense the “privilege” to freely discriminate against US service members. 

This is unacceptable.

The “Petty Officer Jonathan Stremel Military Anti-Discrimination Act of 2020” will protect soldiers, sailors, and airmen from being discriminated against by the very government they are sworn to defend. By opening the doors for anyone to serve our country freely, we are fostering an environment that encourages Americans from all backgrounds to join without the fear of oppression, fear of alienating families and dependents, and fear of retaliation for being themselves.

By signing this petition, we will send a bold message to congress saying our military will be deadlier through diversity, stronger through acceptance, and effective through tolerance. The US Military is the most diverse fighting force the world has ever seen!  It’s time we respect, protect, and preserve that legacy!