House speaker and LGBT+ rights advocate Nancy Pelosi has hit out at Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, calling it an “act of cruelty.”
Pelosi made the comments after a screening of the documentary TransMilitary in Washington yesterday, according to the Thomas Reuters Foundation.
Speaking after the screening, Pelosi said: “These people are going to be relics in the dustbin of history, they just don’t know it.
“To them it’s inconceivable, to us it is inevitable. So we have to shorten the distance between the inconceivable to some and the inevitable to us.”
She then thanked US Army Captain Jennifer Peace, who was in attendance and features in the documentary, and thanked her for “shortening that distance.”
Donald Trump’s transgender military ban will come into effect on April 12
The controversial ban on transgender people serving in the US military is set to come into force on April 12.
Just last week, a US appeals court cleared the way for the law to be moved forward after they lifted a final injunction against the ban.
Kelly Laco, spokesperson for the US justice department, said: “We are pleased the court cleared the way for the department of defence to be able to implement personnel policies it determined necessary to best defend our nation.”
“These people are going to be relics in the dustbin of history, they just don’t know it. To them it’s inconceivable, to us it is inevitable.”
– Nancy Pelosi on Donald Trump’s transgender military ban
The ban—which has been highly controversial—was first mentioned on Twitter by the US president in July 2017, where he said the military could not be “burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the ban.
Nancy Pelosi is a longtime advocate for LGBT+ rights
Nancy Pelosi has been a longtime advocate of LGBT+ rights. As Speaker in 2009, she passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act which outlawed homophobic and transphobic crime amid fierce opposition.
In 2015, she addressed the challenge of getting the act through, saying: “People would say to me: You can pass this hate crimes bill in a second if you didn’t include transgender.
“And I said: Well, I’m never going to pass it in a million years if we don’t include transgender because it’s important for it to be inclusive, and transgender people are probably the most in need of a hate crimes bill.”
The year before that, she said that transgender people should be allowed to serve openly in the US military.
The new policy coming into effect this month will mean that those who are openly transgender will not be allowed to join the military. Those who are currently openly transgender and already serving in the military will be allowed to continue.