The amendment would’ve overturned the ban and banned other forms of LGBTQ discrimination in the military.
LGBTQ groups in America are dismayed after Republicans successfully stopped a Democrat amendment that would’ve overturned President Tr*mp’s military ban. The Democrats had managed to put amendments onto the National Defense Authorization Act.
The amendment from Jackie Spier would’ve overturned the military ban, and would’ve banned anti-LGBTQ discrimination within the US military.
In a statement, five LGBTQ organisations in the country said they were “profoundly discouraged” by the Republicans for defeating the amendment. The organisations are the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. The statement was also released by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Modern Military Association of America.
The statement said: “Although House and Senate Democratic leaders fought to retain this provision to end the ban the White House, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) fought vigorously to remove it, and ultimately prevailed.”
The bill did, however, pass with some pro-LGBTQ amendments. Language in the bill encourages military recruiters to issue exception waivers and allow trans soldiers to enlist, and there is a provision that will help LGBTQ soldiers discharged over the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy to fight for an appeal to gain an “honourable discharge” which will allow them access to federal veterans benefits.
Elizabeth Warren, who is campaigning to be selected as the Democrat’s candidate for the 2020 presidential election, has pledged to overturn the trans military ban on her first day in office, if she wins.
“The only thing that should matter when it comes to allowing military personnel to serve is whether or not they can handle the job,” she stated in her 7500-word plan – titled Keeping Our Promises to Our Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families.