Minnesota’s Attorney General is among 19 state attorneys general that have sent a letter to leaders in Congress opposing President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender troop, a ban he issued via Twitter last week. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson signed on to a joint letter along with Hawaii, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

“We…urge you to protect transgender service members through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and join us in
opposing President Trump’s recently stated policy to prevent transgender service members from serving in the United States Armed Forces,” the letter states. “Specifically, we ask that you include language in the NDAA: (1) prohibiting discrimination against transgender service members currently serving in the United States Armed Forces; and (2) reaffirming that transgender individuals may not be banned from serving in the United States Armed Forces.”

The letter also states:

The new policy is also blatant discrimination. It has no place in our Armed Services. It is an insult to the courageous transgender service members who hold vital roles in our military and continue to make tremendous sacrifices for our country. Transgender individuals are valued members of our communities. The new ban harms our States’ transgender residents and marginalizes an entire group of people based solely on gender identity. In addition to its constitutional infirmities, it is inconsistent with the laws and policies of many States, and with fundamental notions of fairness and equality.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that the policy won’t change until Trump follows the proper channels for such a change.

Here’s the full letter and press release:

Download (PDF, 189KB)

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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