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ABA House of Delegates urges support for transgender military services

August 7, 2018

The American Bar Association House of Delegates voted in favor of a resolution that urges the federal government to recognize that transgender persons should not be discriminated against in applying for United States Armed Forces based on gender identity.

Co-sponsored by the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Resolution 118 was approved by delegates at the ABA annual meeting on Tuesday. The resolution stated “service by individuals who otherwise meet the standards for accession or retention in the US Armed Forces should not be denied.”

Arguments and lawsuits in support of transgender rights escalated in 2017 when President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the federal government would not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in the military in any capacity.

In response to heightened concerns, the proposed resolution was accompanied by a report that included three research-backed points, according to the ABA Journal:

• Transgender individuals openly serving in the Armed Forces will have an insignificant impact on military readiness

• Costs associated with providing health care for transgender individuals is negligible

• The transgender service ban violates the constitutional guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process

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