July 26, 2017 The Center for Inquiry responded today to President Trump’s declaration that transgender Americans would be prohibited from serving in the U.S. military “in any capacity.”
“Trump is singling out transgender Americans, a long-maligned group that is just now making significant gains toward equal treatment, to reward his supporters in the religious right who wish to stand against that progress,” said Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “President Trump has provided no justification as to why he would think the presence of transgender servicemembers would somehow threaten the military’s ability to defend the United States.”
From the admission of African American troops, to the integration of previously racially segregated units, to the opening of military careers to women, to permitting gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country, the U.S. military has adapted to change and maintained its position as a well trained, well disciplined service ready to protect American lives and values. Opening service up to all citizens strengthens both the military and society as a whole.
CFI, which seeks to advance a secular society based on reason, science, and humanist values, has been combating efforts to codify anti-transgender discrimination in U.S. policy, for example, opposing the Trump administration’s decision to reverse Obama-era protections for transgender students.
“What the president has done today is a step backward in efforts to ensure equality for all Americans,” said Blumner. “We stand proudly with the transgender community as an ally in the fight for equal treatment.”
CFI was a vocal opponent of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that discriminated against gays and lesbians in the military, outlining our argument in the 2010 position paper Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.