John McCain supports bill to reverse Trump's ban on transgender troops

Senator John McCain has cosponsored a bill that would bar the Defense Department from denying transgender service members the ability to continue in the military or to reenlist.
By Chad Young | Sep 16, 2017
Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona cosponsored new legislation Friday that would block President Trump's ban on transgender people in the military.

The bill's other sponsors are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

The bill would bar the Defense Department from denying transgender service members the ability to continue in the military or to reenlist. It also would require Defense Secretary James Mattis to complete his assessment of transgender troops' effect on military readiness by the end of the year and report the results to Congress, according to HuffPost.

"When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country," said McCain, in a statement. "Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve including those who are transgender."

Between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people currently serve in the military, according to a recent Rand Corporation study.

President Trump surprised everyone, including the Pentagon, when he tweeted an announcement two months ago saying that transgender troops would no longer be permitted to served in the military "in any capacity." He later directed Mattis to review the issue and decide how to make the change the prospect of which has left thousands of transgender service members uncertain of their futures.

"Thousands of brave transgender Americans love our country enough to risk their lives for it, fight for it, and even die for it, and Congress should honor them and let them serve," said Gillibrand, in a statement.

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