In response to President Biden’s Executive Order today reversing the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Director of Policy and Community Building Terra Russell-Slavin issued the following statement:
“In July 2017 this ban signaled the start of the Trump Administration’s years-long efforts to legislate transgender Americans out of existence. President Biden’s action today was a clear message from the Commander in Chief that bigotry and discrimination have no place in the U.S. military. Thanks to this decision, thousands of dedicated transgender service members are once again rightfully recognized for their service and sacrifice in defense of our freedom.
“The ban underscored the fact that, without sweeping federal protections, discrimination against LGBTQ people remains unchecked in most states in our nation. Congress must act now to pass the Equality Act to enshrine equal protection as law under the Civil Rights Act.
“While we celebrate today, there is still vital work to be done to protect the dignity and lives of LGBTQ people. We call on elected officials at all levels of government and all people of conscience to join the fight for equality and justice for all.”