All four military service chiefs have confirmed transgender troops have not harmed unit cohesion, discipline or morale
WASHINGTON, D.C.-(Effingham Radio)- U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and 46 other U.S. Senators in sending a bipartisan letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis opposing the Trump Administration’s discriminatory ban on transgender servicemembers.
The Senators urged Secretary Mattis to reverse course and establish a policy that allows anyone who is willing and able to serve our country to join the military.
The Senators’ bipartisan letter follows statements by the chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the commandant of the Marine Corps confirming that the military service of openly transgender troops has not had any negative effects on unit cohesion, order, discipline, or morale.
“The recommendations and report break faith with the men and women serving in our military by establishing a new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for transgender service members, permitting them to serve only if they are willing to forego any chance of living as their true selves,” the Senators wrote.
“Just as our mistaken policy regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual service members harmed readiness and ultimately was repealed, the implementation of your recommendations will also harm our nation’s military.”
“Accordingly, we are opposed to the implementation of this discriminatory policy.”
Following President Trump’s discriminatory announcement that he would ban transgender servicemembers from the military, Secretary Mattis sent the President his recommendations and a report on how to implement the President’s ban, which was released in a Department of Justice filing on March 23rd.
The recommendations and report misrepresent the scientific consensus about transgender individuals’ physical and mental ability to serve in the military, falsely claiming that transgender individuals cannot meet the same physical and mental health standards applied to others.
That claim directly contradicts the conclusions of medical and mental health professionals as well as recommendations put forward by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and several former U.S. Surgeons General.
“At a time when the U.S. military is struggling to recruit and retain the number of quality individuals that it requires to meet today’s challenging environment, this policy will undermine morale within the services and send a message to young Americans that the military is an outdated institution that discriminates against those who are able and want to serve simply because of who they are,” the Senators continued.
In addition to Duckworth, Durbin and Gillibrand, the bipartisan letter was also signed by Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Coons (D-DE), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Donnelly (D-IN), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Harris (D-CA), Hassan (D-NH), Heinrich (D-NM), Heitkamp (D-ND), Hirono (D-HI), Jones (D-AL), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Leahy (D-VT), Markey (D-MA), McCaskill (D-MO), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Murkowski (R-AK), Murphy (D-CT), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Peters (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Smith (D-MN), Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MT), Udall (D-NM), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warner (D-VA), Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Wyden (D-OR).