Home Daily Feature Virginia Democrats Condemn Trump’s Military Transgender Ban; Republicans Predictably, Pathetically Silent

Virginia Democrats Condemn Trump’s Military Transgender Ban; Republicans Predictably, Pathetically Silent


The following is just a small sampling of Virginia Democrats’ condemnation of Donald Trump’s announcement this morning that he would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Note that others, like Democratic LG nominee Justin Fairfax, retweeted/shared several of these as well. Meanwhile, what we’ve gotten from Virginia Republicans (I’ve checked Facebook and Twitter feeds for Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, John Adams, as well as Virginia’s GOP congresscreatures, the VA GOP, etc.) has been, overwhelmingly, a deafening silence. That includes people like Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA10) and Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA02), [UPDATE: see below for Taylor’s statement, which opposes Trump’s ban; good for him] both of whom have pretended (at times) to be kinda/sorta LGBT-friendly. So much for that, eh? As for Ed Gillespie, he’s his usual profile in cowardice, of course. Meanwhile, here are a bunch of Democrats standing up against the White House bully and for patriotic Americans.

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA02):

“Our office is currently waiting for the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide information requested on this issue. I am troubled that they seemed to be unaware of this potential policy change and how it was made public. I understand the DoD is in the middle of a review of relevant policies and I believe this ban is premature. There are heroic military members willing to put their lives on the line and give the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, regardless of their gender identity. I support the ability for those who meet all military requirements, medical and otherwise, to have the opportunity to serve our great country. I recently supported the Hartzler amendment on the basis of individual medical readiness, which should always be a priority for the military. Readiness is crucial for us to continue to have the most highly capable fighting force in the world.”

UPDATE 6:39 pm: We finally get a mealy-mouthed, wimpy statement from Ed Gillespie.

  • Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem (D), herself transgender, on Trump’s military transgender ban:

    When Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) tried to ban LGBTQ people from serving in the Virginia National Guard in 2011, even his own party recognized that was wrong and killed his bill (HB 2474).

    Today, President Trump took a page out of Del. Marshall’s discriminatory handbook and banned active, reserved and prospective soldiers, airmen, sailors, guardsmen, Marines and special forces members who are transgender from serving their country in uniform when the president himself declined to do so.

    And unlike Del. Marshall, the president acted unilaterally without any oversight in his role as commander in chief even after Secretary James Mattis backed the rights of transgender service members to have their health care needs covered by the military two weeks ago.

    Here in Prince William County, the United States Marine Corps Base at Quantico trains Americans for combat who are fit to serve regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

    With this ban, Americans who are willing to step up and serve their country in uniform so people like the commander in chief don’t have to won’t be able to contribute to our military readiness programs at Quantico, which hurts Prince William County, our commonwealth and our country.

    Like Del. Marshall before him, the president denigrated the service and sacrifice of thousands of active and reserve transgender military service members from every state in the union.

    Out transgender service members like Senior Airman Logan Ireland and Cpl. Laila Villanueva have done more to defend and serve this country than Donald Trump and Del. Marshall ever will.

    It is nothing short of hypocrisy for someone unfit to serve honorably in the presidency to tell honorable, hardworking, patriotic Americans who answered their country’s call to service that they are unfit to serve because of who they are.

    When Donald Trump held up Pride flags at his rallies last year, LGBTQ people overwhelmingly greeted his gesture with skepticism given that the likes of Del. Marshall and Tony Perkins endorsed him. Today, he’s replied to our skepticism with his own discriminatory cynicism as he’s disgraced the Americans who are willing and able to honorably serve by telling them they’re not worthy enough to wear the very uniform he avoided decades ago.

    As delegate, I’ll vote to protect all Virginia National Guard members who are willing and able to serve honorably from discrimination and I’ll work make our Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth, where we celebrate each other for who we are, not for who others tell us we’re supposed to be.”

  • Bye bye anti-LGBT bigot Virginia Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall? LOL


  • Dan Rather:

    It is a cruel irony that President Truman desegregated the U.S. military (according to race) 69 years ago today. And now we have a president ordering the military (what he calls “my generals”) to sow seeds of deep division.

    Meanwhile, another anniversary. In late July 1965, Congress voted overwhelmingly for Medicare. Now we may be on the brink of rolling back health care for millions of Americans.

    I am saddened but not surprised by either development. Mr. Trump feels under siege, and a man who is desperate for the adulating huzzahs of his most devoted followers is throwing red meat to his base. The ban on transgender people from serving in our armed forces is getting bipartisan criticism, but this type of bigotry plays well with too many of our fellow citizens. It should be noted that the military was already working this out, and now they have to shift course. Of all the things the armed forces need to worry about, they didn’t need this new ill-conceived presidential directive.

    Meanwhile, almost every Republican in the Senate is lining up to deliver a “win” for their president on health care. And by “win” we must clarify that we are only speaking in terms of short term political optics. Not policy. And maybe not even longterm politics considering how unpopular the Republican approach to healthcare seems to be. Tell the cancer patients who lose their coverage that they are winning. But for years Republicans played in a cynical and baseless game of fearmongering over the Affordable Care Act and now that bill is due. Will there be enough who vote no to put the brakes on this runaway train?

    I remain an optimist. I believe that the majority of Americans see these shenanigans for what they are. I believe that what unites us is stronger than what tears us apart. I believe that on LGBTQ rights and civil rights more generally we are on a path for greater justice. I believe that most Americans now see health care as a right.

    But an isolated and embattled president and his enablers in Congress will continue to push division to rally support. From protests in the streets, to messages to Congress, to energy at the ballot box, it will be imperative for those who claim the mantles of reason and resistance to make their voices heard.

  • old_redneck

    On this date — July 26, 1948 — President Harry Truman signed an executive order desegregating the Armed Forces.

    Today — July 26, 2017 — Trump re-segregated the Armed Forces based on gender identity.