For Immediate Release
We were shocked and disturbed to see today’s tweets from President Trump regarding the service of transgender individuals in our armed forces. The US military is the largest employer of transgender people in the world, employing an estimated 15,000 transgender people. Coming from a President that ran on the promise of creating jobs, making a move to strip jobs from 15,000 americans shows the President’s true feeling toward LGBTQ people.
As Georgia’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, Georgia Equality stands with the 15,000 transgender service members across our country, the more than 350,000 LGBTQ Georgians, and the countless people in this country who know this is the wrong move, to oppose President Trump’s departure from the policies of the US Military. Transgender individuals serve honorably every day in our military and to think that the President would issue this statement in the form of a tweet boggles the mind,” said Georgia Equality’s Executive Director Jeff Graham.
Given that a Defense Department study concluded that transgender service members do not harm unit cohesion, and allowing them to fulfill their duty will have no effect on military readiness or military budgets.
“This is done strictly as bigotry and has no purpose. And it has already been proven trans people can serve in the military and not only in our country but also several other countries in the world,” said Monica Helms, a transgener Georgian who served 8 years in the US Navy.
We have qualified and trained transgender service members already in place, as well as transgender Americans who are able and willing to serve their country. Retaining talented service members—rather than discharging them simply because of their gender identity—strengthens our military readiness.
“It violates our values that anyone who’s qualified for the job should be allowed to do the job,” said Georgia Equality’s Transgender Inclusion Organizer, Chanel Haley.
In employment, we should be judged on how we do our jobs, that’s all. Many transgender individuals have major problems when trying to get a job, and it’s because of the sentiment expressed by the President today.
Founded in 1995, Georgia Equality is the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization that works to advance fairness safety and opportunity for Georgia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities.