From The Washington Blade: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/09/11/sen-gillibrand-files-amendment-trump-trans-military-ban/
by Chris Johnson
September 11, 2017
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) filed an amendment Monday before the U.S. Senate that would undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service and could see a vote as soon as this week.
The two-page amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), was filed for consideration as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill. The amendment was obtained late Monday by the Washington Blade.
Gillibrand said in a statement the amendment would honor transgender service members currently serving in the armed forces.
“Any individual who wants to join our military and meets the standards should be allowed to serve, period. Gender identity should have nothing to do with it,” Gillibrand said. “I am proud to work with Sen. Collins to introduce our bipartisan amendment to protect transgender members of our Armed Forces, and I will always fight for our brave transgender troops who put their lives on the line to protect our country.”
Both Gillibrand and Collins championed efforts in 2010 for legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” They both were among the 45 senators who signed a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis urging him to resist Trump’s plan to bar transgender people from the U.S. military.
Collins, the lead Republican in efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” also expressed support for transgender troops in a statement.
Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” Collins said. “If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”
The amendment, which responds to President Trump’s memo late last month directing the Pentagon to ban transgender people from the armed forces, consists of three parts.