Equality Utah Stands with Transgender Servicemembers & Veterans

26 July 2017 Published in Newsroom

Equality Utah Stands with Transgender Troops in Wake of Trump's Trans Military Announcement.

Today President Trump announced plans to reinstate a ban of transgender military members in the military. Thousands of transgender Americans serve in our military and are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and free.

"When politics are difficult the LGBTQ community is readily attacked and has historically borne the brunt of the politically powerful," said board chair Rusty Andrade.

Equality Utah board member and former military servicemember Sarah Gene Hjalmarson said, "We have always and will always serve with honor and integrity as do those who serve honorably at our side. Selfless service is dependent on nothing more or less than how I carry myself in uniform."

During the 2016 presidential race, Trump called himself a "real friend" of the LGBTQ community in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting. "Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he tweeted in June.

Transgender military service has been a success, extensive research has confirmed. An inclusive policy promotes readiness and the sad history of "don't ask don't tell" by loyally serving transgender troops is not somewhere we can return.

"We already have qualified and trained transgender troops who are ready to serve their country. Discharging them based on their gender identity goes against our values of hard work and community," said Troy Williams, executive director.

Even Senator Hatch doesn't agree with Trump's latest move. “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them," said Senator Hatch.

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