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182 House Republicans try and fail to fund Trump's bigoted military ban

In the middle of Pride Month, Republicans fought against LGBTQ equality on the House floor.

By Dan Desai Martin - June 19, 2019
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The House voted Tuesday to prevent the Pentagon from using any federal funding to implement Trump’s bigoted ban on transgender troops, overcoming the opposition of almost every Republican.

The restriction was added as an amendment to a spending bill, which was approved by a 243-183 vote. Only nine Republicans joined the near-unanimous majority of Democrats supporting the measure, and only a single Democrat voted against it.

In April, Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military went into effect, over the strong objections of military leaders and the medical community. The ban will kick out transgender troops who refuse to serve in their birth sex and are “given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies.”

“The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision,” Dr. Barbara L. McAneny, president of the American Medical Association (AMA), said in April.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), a white former real estate executive who never served in the military, spoke up in favor of Trump’s discrimination. He argued that allowing transgender individuals to serve “risks undermining the readiness of our military at a time when we can least afford it.”

But Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), a black U.S. Army veteran, pointed out that these are the same incorrect and bigoted arguments as used by those who once fought against racially integrating the military.

“The President and his administration wrongfully argue that it’s about military readiness and unit cohesion, but these arguments are the same ones that were made to keep the military racially segregated,” Brown said Tuesday on the House floor. “My service in an integrated armed forces did not harm readiness, and neither does the service of the more than 14,000 transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.”

Calvert’s rationale is further undermined by the top military leaders in the nation. When testifying before Congress, the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines said they had not seen any discipline, morale, or unit readiness problems related to transgender troops serving openly.

No matter what military leaders and the medical community say, Republicans are almost entirely united behind Trump’s desire to discriminate. In March, the House voted on a resolution condemning Trump’s transgender ban, and only five Republicans voted for it while 185 opposed it.

Now, in the middle of Pride Month, Republicans once again chose bigotry over equal rights.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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