URGENT: Stop The House From Denying Health Care To Transgender Service Members

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July 13, 2017

Lambda Legal issued the following statement in response to an amendment introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) onto the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday evening.

The amendment would deny health care coverage for transgender service members and their military dependents. Hartzler earlier tried to ban transgender people from serving altogether in the House Armed Services Committee, and when that failed, she turned to a new amendment that would exclude health care coverage for military service members and their families.

This is just the latest example of GOP extremists' commitment to standing on the side of bullies and bigots. Transgender service members and their families, like all of those serving in the military, make sacrifices for this country each and every day that we should be celebrating and honoring. Instead, Rep. Hartzler, driven by her insatiable desire to harm transgender service members, seeks to deny these brave men and women and their families the health care that they need.

As one of the thousands of transgender veterans, I am shocked to see Rep. Hartzler use her position of public trust to attack, rather than support, the men and women of our armed forces. The fact that the Republican leadership in the House would allow her amendment to move forward is even more despicable, and demonstrates their callous disregard for the transgender men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and defend us.

Our more than 15,000 transgender service members deserve better than this. All Americans who claim to support the men and women serving our country should raise their voices in protest.