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Courtney Responds To President Trump Banning Transgender Americans From Serving In The Armed Services

July 26, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, made the following remarks after President Donald Trump indicated that he would reverse a policy that allows transgender Americans to serve in the United States Armed Forces:

“President Trump’s statement apparently banning transgender members of the military, even those now serving, is the height of irresponsibility. His tweet was issued at the same time the Department of Defense is undergoing a six-month comprehensive review of the policy allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military. Undercutting their work, and setting military policy by tweet, is reckless and disrespectful in the extreme. 

“The president’s statement also flies in the face of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, who just yesterday called for equal treatment of qualified and well-trained service members regardless of gender identity. Since our nation eliminated racial segregation in the military 69 years ago today, the United States has expanded opportunity for more Americans, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, to wear our nation’s uniform. This order is a clear reversal of that legacy which fundamentally recognizes that it is in our nation’s best interest to find the “best and brightest”.

“Furthermore, the president’s use of the phrase ‘my generals’ when referring to the senior commanders of the United States Armed Forces flies in the face of our democratic norms and institutions. This is a nation of laws, not rulers. While the president is the Commander in Chief of the military, military leaders do not serve him alone. They took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution, not any one person.”