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Federal lawmakers file legislation to protect transgender service members

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers have filed bills to protect transgender service members.

The Washington Blade reported that U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) introduced House Resolution 1032 in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced an identical bill in the U.S. Senate.

The filing comes just weeks after SCOTUS ruled that the Trump administration’s transgender military ban can go into effect as lawsuits against it go through the courts.

“Lambda Legal is so appreciative of Senator Gillibrand, Representative Speier, and all of the other champions who are spearheading this important legislation to ensure that transgender service members are treated equally,” said Sharon McGowan, Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer of Lambda Legal, in a statement release Thursday. “Transgender military personnel are meeting every rigorous military standard that is required of all service members and have done so for more than two and half years. Service members should be judged based on whether they can satisfy the nation’s military service requirements, not who they are or who they love. This legislation will help ensure that transgender service members who are otherwise qualified can continue serving our country without fear of discrimination.”

The Blade reported that Speier and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) are among those who invited trans servicemembers to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union Address as their guests.

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