Democrats vote to block transgender troop ban

Nine Republicans also voted in support of the amendment.

Jun 19, 2019, 12:17 pm

IRL

Alex Dalbey 

Alex Dalbey

The White House put out a memo banning transgender people from serving in the military 'except under limited circumstances.'

Ted Eytan/Flickr

The Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military has come up against an obstacle in the House of Representatives, where Democrats voted to block funding to implement the ban, PinkNews reports.

The Democrats were able to get in the block as an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on a $1 trillion spending bill that includes the defense funding for 2020. The amendment passed 243-183, with the support of nine Republicans and all but one Democrat.

Trump originally announced the trans military ban on Twitter in July of 2017. In spite of numerous legal challenges, as well as admonishment from veterans serving in Congress, it went into effect in April of this year. While the 10,000-plus trans folks who are already enlisted may continue to serve in the military, trans people who were preparing to enlist, such as college freshman Map Pesqueira, have had that opportunity taken away.

Republicans have continually defended the move, claiming that transgender people serving openly would undermine military readiness and threaten unit cohesion. But during the debate on the House floor on Tuesday, Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), a Black man and an Army veteran, hit back on these claims.

“The president and his administration wrongfully argue that it’s about military readiness and unit cohesion, but these arguments are the same ones that were made to keep the military racially segregated,” Brown said, essentially calling out the Republicans for repeating history.

“My service in an integrated armed forces did not harm readiness,” said Brown. “Every service chief testified that transgender service would not disrupt unit cohesion or readiness.”

Although the amendment in the House may present a small stumbling block to the Trump administration, it is unlikely that such an amendment will be passed in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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H/T PinkNews

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*First Published: Jun 19, 2019, 12:17 pm