Senator Tammy Duckworth: Congress should block Trump's ban on transgender troops

Sun. August 27, 2017 6:34 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling on Congress to approve legislation what blocks President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops from taking effect.

The White House issued the guidance on Friday, roughly a month after the president called for completely barring transgender people from serving in the military.

Trump's guidance directs the military to bar transgender people from entering the military and stop paying for the transition-related health care of active duty transgender troops, but stops short of banning transgender troops, leaving the decision of what the military should do about active-duty transgender troops to military leaders.

Duckworth, who lost both legs serving in the Iraq war, has received a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Congressional Scorecard, a measure of a lawmaker's support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

"When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown," Duckworth said in a statement released prior to the administration's official release of its guidance.

"All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do this job, you should be able to serve – no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military and it is counterproductive to our national security."

"If the President enacts this ban, which would harm our military readiness, the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who oppose this discrimination must enact legislation that prevents it from taking effect," Duckworth added.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine