When President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address this evening, he’ll have to face four servicemembers he wants to boot out of the military. Their Commander-in-Chief has decided that he should discriminate against them rather than protect and honor their service.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Representatives Donald McEachin (VA), Chris Pappas (NH), and Jackie Speier (CA) will all bring transgender military members to the televised address to both chambers of Congress.
Navy Petty Officer Second Class Megan Winters, Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann, retired sailor Tavion Dignard, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland will all attend the speech.
Gillibrand, who was a leader in the effort to repeal the military’s ban on gay and lesbian members, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” will introduce legislation meant to protect trans servicemembers before Trump’s ban can be implemented.
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“Transgender service members like Lieutenant Commander Dremann make extraordinary sacrifices every day to defend our freedom and our most sacred values, and President Trump’s decision to ban them from military service is cruel and undermines our military readiness,” she said in a prepared statement.
“Any transgender American who meets the standards should be able to sign up to join our Armed Forces, and that’s why I’m going to introduce new legislation this week to protect current and future transgender service members.”
“As many as 15,000 transgender individuals currently serve in the U.S. military, and they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude,” McEachin said in a press release. “Unlike our current commander in chief, I will always support and defend the brave members of our military.”
Patriots like Lt. Commander Blake Dremann—the first openly transgender servicemember to be promoted in our military's history, and the president of @sparta_pride—make our armed forces and our country stronger. I’m honored he’ll be joining me at the State of the Union. pic.twitter.com/hzjIiMll5U
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 4, 2019