Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to an anti-trans amendment offered by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler during debate of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018. Fortunately, the amendment was defeated by a vote of 214-209. Congresswoman Hartzler’s amendment would have prohibited medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) by the Department of Defense relating to gender transition.
Congressman Nadler’s full statement, as prepared for delivery, follows below:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the Hartzler Amendment.
“Transgender individuals are part of the fabric of America and have always been part of our military, whether we have historically acknowledged them or not. Selectively denying healthcare to trans service members, which is available to other members of the military, only serves to alienate, undermine, disrespect and ultimately harm those serving our country.
“This amendment is a shameful and targeted attempt to enact a conservative agenda that singles out transgender individuals. It circumvents our military’s doctors and uses the denial of healthcare to force currently serving, and future, transgender members of our armed services from their posts entirely.
“Transition related care is considered medically necessary by nearly every major medical association. It should not need to be said that when a military physician determines that hormones, surgery or other transition related care is necessary, we must treat it as we would any other medical care. Anything less is an abdication of our duty to provide healthcare to those who have chosen to serve our country.
“Using finances to ties the hands of our military’s medical professionals to target transgender individuals demonstrates an appalling lack of respect for our service members, their doctors and the democratic ideals of equality our country was founded on. I urge my colleagues to support our service members by opposing this amendment.”
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