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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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July 28 2017


Chicago — In a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia today voiced opposition to the recently announced ban on transgender people serving in the Armed Forces.

In response to the ban, Madigan and the attorneys general said in their letter that the ban is discriminatory and, despite claims otherwise, is actually harmful to military readiness. The letter notes that over decades, approximately 150,000 transgender service members have served in the U.S. Armed Forces:

“Transgender service members fill a number of critical military roles. Retaining these talented service members strengthens—not weakens—our military readiness.”

Madigan and the other attorneys general reminded the House and Senate committees of the honorable service performed by transgender service members, writing:

“The members of our Armed Forces put their lives on the line to protect freedom for all Americans. Thousands of transgender Americans serve in uniform today. This policy tells them, ‘you are not welcome here.’ The decision to oust honorable, well-trained, and patriotic service members based on nothing more than their gender identity is undiluted discrimination and therefore indefensible. We urge that this newly announced policy be immediately reversed.”

Joining Madigan in sending the letter were attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.

A copy of the letter can be found here.


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