Defense Secretary Mattis delays Trump’s ban on transgender service membersAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced that the Department of Defense will not implement President Trump’s ban on transgender Americans from openly serving in the United States Military until further study by experts.
On Sunday at the MTV VMAs, GLAAD, and SPARTA, a LGBTQ service members and veterans group, joined transgender service members Sterling James Crutcher, Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace, and Akira Wyatt, as well as trans veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannehill. Their appearance on the red carpet made headlines across the world.
President Donald Trump’s announcement in July via Twitter is a complete reversal from a directive by the Obama Administration, which lifted a ban on trans soldiers from openly serving in the military. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, there are over 15,000 transgender Americans currently serving in the United States armed forces.
“The Department of Defense has taken a step in the right direction and sent an important message to transgender Americans currently serving our country,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, who walked the MTV VMA red carpet with transgender service members and veterans. “The stories of patriotic transgender service members and their heroism, like the ones that the world heard just two nights ago at the MTV VMAs, are truly the front lines of defense against Trump’s ill-conceived and poorly researched ban. President Trump may try and pass policies that erase LGBTQ people, but we will never be silent.”
Full bios of the transgender service members and veterans who attended the VMAs are available at: https://www.glaad.org/blog/meet-transgender-service-members-walking-iconic-2017-mtv-vma-red-carpet. Red carpet guests Logan and Laila Ireland first came out as transgender service members in The New York Times Emmy nominated short film, “Transgender, at War and in Love.” Their full story and that of Capt. Jennifer Peace, who also attended the VMAs, is coming out in the soon to be released feature documentary, TransMilitary.
Trump’s ban on transgender service members from openly serving in the U.S. Military summarizes the full-scale attack on LGBTQ Americans by the Trump Administration. Since President Trump’s inauguration, the administration has stopped at nothing to erase LGBTQ acceptance from the federal government. This includes appointing the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory, deleting any mention of “LGBTQ” from government websites, and rescinding guidance that protects transgender students at their schools. GLAAD has cataloged every anti-LGBTQ action by the Trump Administration under its Trump Accountability Project.
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