Conservatives Against Discrimination Applauds President Biden’s Order Rescinding Transgender Military Ban

By Communications Team • January 25, 2021 • 1:05 pm

Trump’s ban drew widespread condemnation from prominent Republicans, including Senators and members of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today President Joe Biden issued an executive order revoking President Donald Trump’s 2017 policy banning transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military.

The transgender military ban was swiftly condemned in 2017 by lawmakers across the political spectrum, including Republican Senators like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Republican Representatives like Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Polling in 2019 showed that Republican support for transgender Americans serving openly in the military had grown by ten points in the two years following Trump’s announcement of the ban.

“President Biden’s order allowing qualified transgender Americans to serve openly makes the United States stronger and safer,” said Conservatives Against Discrimination Co-Chair and former Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “The ban was a vivid illustration of the discrimination that many transgender Americans experience all too often and sparked swift bipartisan opposition. And despite this step forward, LGBTQ servicemembers, veterans, and everyday LGBTQ individuals remain vulnerable to discrimination in other areas of life because of insufficient federal nondiscrimination protections. Even with the President’s order implementing the Bostock ruling, critical gaps remain. With support from 8 in 10 Americans – including 68% of Republicans – it’s time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to pass federal legislation providing common-sense protections for all LGBTQ Americans.

As hurtful as President Trump’s anti-transgender order was, it was heartening to see Republicans at every level of government speak out almost immediately condemning the ban and supporting dignity and respect for transgender members of the military. Reaction to the military ban was an example of a bipartisan group of leaders coming together to do the right thing and reject anti-LGBTQ discrimination – and now, it’s time for strong bipartisan action to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in every other area of life, too.”

John Fluharty, a member of the Conservatives Against Discrimination Leadership Council and former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Delaware, withdrew himself from consideration for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security after President Trump announced the ban.

“As a proud conservative, I firmly believe that we should be encouraging inclusion and opposing discrimination of any kind. I am relieved that the ban on brave transgender service members who were willing to put their lives on the line for our country will now be a sorry footnote in history,” Fluharty said.

“Republicans and Democrats alike understand that our country is made stronger by our diversity, and that everyone should have the freedom to build a life where they can thrive. I look forward to President Biden and Republican leaders working across the aisle as soon as possible to establish bipartisan federal legislation providing comprehensive protections across all areas of daily life.”

On his first day in office, President Biden directed all federal agencies to implement the 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. The ruling found that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under existing federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination. Biden’s action means the landmark ruling will now extend to every federal agency’s application and enforcement of all federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination, including employment, housing, credit, education, and more.

Conservatives Against Discrimination is a coalition of conservative Americans who believe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people should be protected from discrimination. This coalition provides resources and opportunities for conservatives from all walks of life who support LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws.

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