HARTFORD, CT - Attorney General George Jepsen has joined in a coalition with 18 other attorneys general in expressing their opposition to President Trump's ban on transgender men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces.
In a letter sent late Thursday evening to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, the attorneys general asked that Congress include language in the National Defense Authorization Act that prohibits discrimination against transgender service members currently serving in the Armed Forces and that affirms that transgender individuals may not be banned from service.
"Transgender individuals are valued members of our communities," the attorneys general wrote. "The new ban harms our states' transgender residents and marginalizes an entire group of people based solely on gender identity. In addition to its constitutional infirmities, it is inconsistent with the laws and policies of many states, and with fundamental notions of fairness and equality."
"Discrimination of any kind has no place in our society," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Transgender men and women who want to serve should be afforded the same opportunities to do so as any other American, and those who are already serving deserve our respect and our gratitude for their service. This ban is inherently wrong and based on untruths and falsehoods, and I'm proud to stand in support of the transgender community on this and on any other policy that is contrary to the principles of opportunity and equality."
On July 26, the president by tweet announced a new ban on transgender service members, citing unnamed support from military leadership. Approximately 150,000 transgender individuals have served in the Armed Forces. President Trump's ban has seen opposition from many members of Congress from both political parties, including Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In addition to Connecticut, and led by Hawaii Attorney General Douglas S. Chin, other attorneys general joining this letter include California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.