CONGRESSMAN LIEU STATEMENT ON TRANSGENDER MILITARY SERVICE

June 30, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding the Department of Defense’s decision to reverse its policy that barred transgender individuals from serving openly in the U.S. military.

“I applaud Secretary Carter’s decision to lift the ban on transgender military service. Every day our military is tasked with keeping Americans safe and defending our nation’s ideals, and it relies on the bravery and heroism of those individuals who choose to serve. Allowing transgender individuals to serve openly and access the medical care they need will only strengthen our military readiness.

As a former active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force currently serving as a Colonel in the Reserves, I understand that a person’s ability to serve is not determined by gender identity. Thousands of transgender individuals already serve our country admirably in the armed forces, and there is no compelling medical or military rationale to restrict their service. Rather than promoting baseless exclusionary policies, we should welcome those who are qualified and willing. I am confident that today’s announcement will enhance our military and make our nation more secure, and I look forward to seeing its implementation.”

###