Members of Congress have taken serious action to dismantle the Trump administration’s restrictive policy on trans people’s military service.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow “any person who meets gender-neutral occupational standards” to serve in the United States military “regardless of race, color, national origin, religion or sex, including gender identity or sexual orientation,” per The Hill.
The 242-187 vote for the NDAA amendment was split almost entirely along party lines, with every Democrat plus 10 Republicans voting in its favor.
“Over the last three years, 14,000 transgender service members have served openly and successfully,” said Rep. Jackie Speier of California, one of the sponsors of the NDAA amendment. “All five service chiefs affirmed they do not hamper lethality or cohesion. Malice and ignorance cannot stop us giving medical care to those brave enough to serve. We know what transgender service members bring to the fight; let them bring it.”
This is not the first action that Congress has taken to combat the policy, which effectively bans all trans people from military service though technically only prevents trans people who have transitioned, are transitioning, or plan to transition (i.e., basically all trans people) from serving. In June, the House voted in favor of an amendment that would prevent the military from using federal funds to pay for the policy. And in February, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — one of the many, many Democrats running for president right now — introduced bipartisan legislation that would let trans people serve.