HARTFORD, CT – President Trump released a series of disturbing tweets on Wednesday morning announcing that transgender individuals will be prohibited from serving in the United States military forces. This move is a reversal of the Obama administration’s 2016 lifting of the ban on transgender troops. In addition to preventing transgender individuals from enlisting in the service from this point forward, the decision leaves the thousands of currently enlisted transgender members of the military in a position of fear and uncertainty.

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) is firmly committed to the eradication of discrimination based on any immutable characteristic, whether that be race, color, ancestry, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. The Trump administration’s decision marks an enormous step backwards in the effort to move beyond the discriminatory and ineffective policies of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” era. President Trump’s assertion that the presence of transgender servicemen and servicewomen is a costly disruption shows a startling lack of understanding of the LGBTQ community and of the brave service and sacrifices that these troops have made for their country.

“The refusal to allow transgender individuals to serve our country in the military is a huge assault on equality and sends a frightening message to young trans people. As a society, we cannot accept this kind of flagrant discrimination,” said CHRO Executive Director Tanya Hughes.

“Like all members of the armed forces, transgender troops have made an extraordinary commitment to the United States. The decision to forbid these individuals to serve in any capacity in the military shows a truly astounding lack of respect for their bravery and willingness to serve,” added Deputy Director Cheryl Sharp.

Robin McHaelen, executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy group True Colors, stated that “This is another example of the Trump administration working to dehumanize the LGBTQ community. As a student at our Queer Academy summer program told me today: ‘There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and finding out I’ve lost my rights.’ To use the power of the presidency to discriminate and remove people’s rights is both heinous and undemocratic.” McHaelen will be a participant in CHRO’s Summer Symposium entitled “Transgender and Genderqueer Public School Students: School Safety in an Era of Uncertainty” on July 27 from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Capitol Building in Hartford.

The CHRO is one of the oldest state civil rights agencies in the nation, established in 1943. Its continuing mission is to “eliminate discrimination through civil and human rights law enforcement and to establish equal opportunity and justice for all persons within the state through advocacy and education.”




Darcy Jones

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