RALLY for Trans Servicemembers

Garden State Equality Statement on Trump’s Decision to Ban Transgender Servicemembers

Asbury Park, NJ -- President Donald Trump announced, via Twitter, a unilateral ban on transgender individuals serving in the United States Military. A rally is being organized for Saturday, July 29th at 11am in Asbury Park (101 Asbury Avenue). Co-sponsoring organizations included: ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Asbury Park Women's March and PFLAG.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino issued the following statement:

“There are Transgender troops serving all throughout our military. Instituting a ban only weakens our forces and sends a message to our troops that their service is not valued. The servicemembers of our military are heroes who stand and defend the values of our nation every day. Trump’s decision undermines those values, and is a disservice to our military and to our country. Donald Trump and this outrageous ban must be stopped.” said Fuscarino.

This ban would affect New Jersey servicemembers like Jennifer Long, who served in the U.S. Army for 30 years, received the Bronze Star for combat service in Afghanistan, and who transitioned while still on active duty.

“The armed forces have trained thousands of transgender service members at substantial cost to perform vital combat missions—forcing them out risks losing that substantial investment and also wrongly threatens the benefits they reasonably expected to earn in exchange for their service.” Said Long.

Supporters of LGBT rights across the state also issued statements denouncing the ban.

“The thousands of transgender Americans serving in our military are heroes – just as all of our service members are – who risk their lives to keep us safe. Forbidding these brave Americans to serve our country flies in the face of the values the United States was built upon. It also undermines our national security and makes our military forces weaker. Our military should be recruiting the best and brightest, regardless of gender identity. This decision is particularly galling coming from a President who actively avoided military service through five draft deferments and believes that the word ‘sacrifice’ means trying to make money. Mr. President, trans military members have sacrificed far more than you ever have – or will," said Senator Cory Booker (D).

“I support and am grateful for any brave American who wants to put on a uniform and serve our nation” said Congressman Donald Norcross (D). “Banning transgender individuals from serving in our military is discriminatory and does not make us safer. Courage and sacrifice transcend identity -- and I strongly urge President Trump to end this ban”

"This policy goes too far. Period." Said Congressman Tom MacArthur (R).

"Tens of thousands of transgender Americans have bravely and selflessly served our military, risking their lives to defend the freedoms we enjoy every day,” said Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D). “Like all Americans, they deserve the opportunity to wear the uniform regardless of their gender identity. President Trump's bigoted decision will make America less safe and inhibit our military readiness. It is clear that President Trump is doubling down on his policies of hatred and it is the responsibility of all Americans - especially the Congress - to stand against this injustice."

Democratic candidate for Governor Phil Murphy said, “President Trump’s decision to strip rights from active duty military personnel who have been serving honestly and openly for more than a year is simply disgusting. Discrimination anywhere, but particularly in our military, is unacceptable no matter the flimsy excuse.”

Garden State Equality will continue to fight against this ban, and against discrimination in all its forms.

Will you come?

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