SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The following statement can be attributed to Palm Center director Aaron Belkin:
“Veterans Day is an occasion to salute all current and former members of the armed forces including the nation’s 134,300 transgender veterans and the 14,700 transgender troops currently serving despite President Trump’s ban.
“Just as ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ undermined military readiness while making it harder for gay, lesbian and bisexual troops to do their jobs, Trump’s ban compromises readiness and wastes talent.
“At a moment when the military struggles to meet its recruiting goals, Trump’s ban prohibits fully fit transgender recruits from serving, and sends a signal to young adults that military service does not reflect their values of equality.
“Presidential candidates who have not yet pledged to reverse Trump’s transgender ban on their first day in office should explain their positions at the next debate.”
This Veterans Day weekend, the Palm Center asked the Democratic National Committee to pose the following question during the fifth presidential primary debate, which will be held Wednesday, November 20 in Atlanta, Georgia and will be hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post:
“Some of the candidates are pledging to reverse Trump’s transgender military ban on day one of their presidency. What is your position, and if you are not making a day-one pledge, why?”
The Palm Center has released a candidate guide identifying each candidate’s stance on the transgender military ban.