National Bar Association Stands with Transgender Community; Banning Transgender Military Applicants Will Only Weaken U.S. Military

"The arbitrary announcement by the President of the United States to ban transgender applicants from serving in the military not only validates the prevailing feeling of intense anxiety within the community but serves to weaken the U.S. military at a time of expanding global instability." –Juan R. Thomas

Washington, DC, September 02, 2017 --( “The Obama-era decision to allow transgender people to openly serve in the military was informed by industry professionals and experts who studied the issue extensively prior to announcing the decision to allow the shift in policy toward inclusion,” said National Bar Association (NBA) President Juan R. Thomas.

“It will not bode well for the United States to undermine, disrupt or otherwise weaken our national defense by denying patriotic transgender Americans the right, honor and privilege to serve their country merely to fulfill campaign promises. We must look to reinforce our country’s security, support and strengthen our military, and move away from retaliatory politics and executive order reversals,” Thomas went on to say.

NBA Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce co-chair, Geneva Musgrove added, “when standing in solidarity with our transgender sisters and brothers we send a strong message to the world that we support those transgender Americans who are willing to honorably serve our country—for their service does matter. In my role as senior manager of community and professional engagement at Lambda Legal, and on behalf of our members, we reject the hate and transphobic views of this current administration. We are committed to educate, advocate and support the efforts to ensure that this ban doesn't become law.”

President Thomas added, “while Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is complying with President Trump’s ban on transgender recruitment, we applaud his principled decision to forestall implementing the ban on transgender members currently serving pending an expert panel’s recommendations.

“At a time when discriminatory acts are on the rise and civil rights gains are under attack, the National Bar Association will continue to closely monitor attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to limit the scope implied and afforded under Title VII to include a person’s gender identity, including transgender, and reverse an EEOC ruling providing sexual orientation protections against discrimination.”

About The National Bar Association
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of over 66,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 84 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world.
National Bar Association (NBA)
Cynthia Swann