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Nadler Statement Opposing Trump Administration Transgender Troop Ban

Washington, March 28, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) spoke on the House floor in support of  H.Res. 124, a resolution expressing opposition to the Trump Administration's ban on transgender individuals serving openly in our nation's armed forces. 

The following are Congressman Nadler's remarks, as prepared, and a video available here:

"Mister Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 124, to express our opposition to banning service in the armed forces by openly transgender individuals.

"We need to be clear that despite the administration’s linguistic gymnastics, there is no other word to call this policy other than a ban. As we would be wise to remember, the unnecessary and discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Harass, Don’t Pursue policy was similarly originally conceived as anything but a ban. With the clarity of hindsight, I doubt there is a single member of the House that would stand and argue Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was anything but a ban on gays, lesbians and bisexual individuals in our armed forces.

"Throughout history, each time the doors of our military are opened to better reflect the diversity of our nation, the same tired and disproven arguments are brought back: that any individual within that new group, regardless of their ability, is unfit to serve and that they will disrupt unit cohesion - including black and Latino men; women; and gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

"There are no issues with transgender individuals serving in our military. You do not have to take my word for it – the service chiefs of all five branches of our military have testified that there have been zero instances of transgender service members hurting cohesion or readiness since the ban was first lifted. So why are we still listening to the same hysterical cries that have risen up every single time since we first lifted a service ban and expanded the definition of who was allowed to serve beyond white men?

"The conservative obsession with targeting and attacking transgender individuals in all areas of American life is cruel and immoral. It is astonishing that after years of “support our troops” demagoguery from my colleagues across the aisle, they would choose to turn their backs on active duty service members and vote to specifically deny them medically prescribed care.

"After two and a half years of not having any issues, there is one reason and one reason alone for this administration to be bringing back a ban on transgender service members: so that social conservatives can force a bigoted agenda on the military that they cannot force on the rest of the American people.

"Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time."

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