Bipartisan vote condemns Trump’s transgender military ban
The House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.
Resolution H.Res.124, titled “Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals,” passed on Thursday (March 28) with 238 votes in favour and 185 against.
It rejects the ban, “the flawed scientific and medical claims upon which it is based” and calls on the Department of Defense not to implement the policy, which would prevent trans people from openly serving in the military and prevent the military from paying for gender confirmation surgeries, with exceptions for surgeries to “protect the health” of those who have already begun to medically transition.
The Pentagon, which is currently still implementing an Obama-era policy from 2016 that lifted a previous ban on transgender troops and allows them to transition and seek treatment for gender dysphoria while serving, is expected to enforce Trump’s ban by April 12.
Who are the Republican representatives who voted with the Democrats to condemn Trump’s trans military ban?
Resolution H.Res.124 was first introduced in February by Representative Joe Kennedy III (Mass.), who serves as the chair of the Equality Caucus’s Transgender Equality Task Force.
By the time it was put to vote, the resolution had been co-sponsored by other 217 representatives—all Democrats but one, New York Republican Congressman John Katko.
“Today’s bipartisan majority in the U.S. House join leading medical associations, national security experts and former military officials in opposing this dangerous and discriminatory policy.”
— Sarah McBride
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Katko was joined by other four Republicans who voted for the resolution—Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), Will Hurd (Texas), Tom Reed (N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), as The Washington Blade reported. Another Republican congressman, Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), voted present.
HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride commended the display of bipartisanship.
She said in a statement: “Today’s bipartisan majority in the U.S. House join leading medical associations, national security experts and former military officials in opposing this dangerous and discriminatory policy. We urge the U.S. Senate to take action so that every service member can know that the both chambers of Congress respect their service.”
Several representatives announced their vote in support of H.Res 214 and displayed transgender pride flags in their offices, following an initiative by the National Center for Transgender Equality, who sent a flag to every member of Congress, from every party, on Tuesday (March 26) ahead of International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31.
Democratic lawmakers Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were among those who displayed the transgender pride flag.