Congress Should Reject This Unconstitutional Amendment Denying Care to Transgender Service Members and Their Families

Update: Victory! The Hartzler Amendment was defeated: 214 No, 209 Yes.

The House of Representatives is poised to vote today on an amendment to prohibit transgender military service members and military dependents from receiving appropriate medical care.

The amendment — introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is the annual defense policy bill — bars the Department of Defense from providing funds towards medical treatment “related to gender transition,” such as hormone therapy.

Hartzler previously offered an amendment — since withdrawn — that would stop the military from enlisting transgender members.

This amendment targets health care services that the nation’s leading medical institutions, including the American Medical Association, agree are medically appropriate and necessary for transgender individuals.

The ACLU is sending a letter to the House today to vote against this discriminatory and unconstitutional amendment. The letter highlights the fact that denying access to care runs counter to scientific evidence and contemporary medical standards. It puts the wellbeing of certain service members at risk, undermining the ability of doctors in the military to adequately care for their patients.

Despite the suggestion that this is just an attempt to reduce spending, the Hartzler amendment is discriminatory, plain and simple. Hartzler made her hostility to transgender people clear when she compared transgender service members to members of ISIS, describing them as a “domestic threat.” She also wrongly — and absurdly — claimed that transition-related care would cost over $1 billion.

Last year, the military officially ended its ban on transgender service, although under the Trump administration it has delayed its acceptance of openly transgender applicants.

According to the Williams Institute, there are over 15,000 transgender individuals serving in active duty or in the Guards or Reserves, and “an estimated 134,000 transgender individuals are veterans or are retired from Guard or Reserve service.”

Transgender troops deserve our respect and support. Congress should reject this cruel and unwarranted attempt to deny necessary care to transgender Americans and harm those serving our country.

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Anonymous

The ALCU is an anti-america pro-communist assembly.

Anonymous

Actually, it's the GOP who is the anti-America, pro-communist, pro-Russia organization. Just ask Comrade Trump.

Anonymous

No, the first poster was right. The ACLU was once a useful organization but for a very long time, it has been more demonic than protective of real freedoms. Its sickening and I hope it disappears forever before the year is out.

Anonymous

You said it! Equal rights aren't just for those that look like you and if you think the ACLU is evil for protecting the rights of LGQTB, then you don't believe in the foundational principles of our Country.

Anonymous

As an Army vet, I can say I'd rather have served with a battalion of transgender individuals than one person like Congresswoman Hartzler.

Anonymous

You are a vet who served to protect the rights and freedoms of all, unlike others who apparently think the constitution & bill of rights are just paper that can be rolled up and thrown away if it doesn't fit their personal agenda. Thank you very much for your service.

Fucked up teeth

I was in the Corps during the '90s and they wouldn't even fix my teeth! I needed braces for my teeth to make them straight and pretty but the US government wouldn't do it. They said I had no "immediate" dental problem.

What is "cosmetic" and what is not? This is bullshit.

Can I sue the government for my fucked up teeth?

Anonymous

Only if you practice some kind of perversion. Otherwise the ACLU won't help. You must be one of them.

Anonymous

Only if you practice some kind of perversion. Otherwise the ACLU won't help. You must be one of them.

Anonymous

Only if you practice some kind of perversion. Otherwise the ACLU won't help. You must be one of them.

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