NBJC Vehemently Condemns President Trump’s Tweets to Ban Transgender People from Serving in the Military
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, released the following statement from Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, in response to the tweets of President Trump to ban transgender people from serving in the military:
“This morning our nation’s 45th President utilized Twitter to announce his decision to ban transgender people from serving in our nation’s military. This position is beyond disgraceful and spits in the faces of the more than 15,000 transgender people currently serving honorably and those that have previously served in our nation’s armed forces.
“In June of 2016, the Department of Defense lifted a ban against transgender men and women serving in the military. This is still the policy of the United States as it is codified in regulation. This policy has not changed just because this Commander in Chief has tweeted out an ill-informed, discriminatory position on such a vital national security issue.
“As a military spouse of someone who served more than 25 years in uniform, I am sickened by this President’s lack of knowledge, understanding and compassion for those who are different than his privileged and pretentious life experience. He has no regard for the hard work and trauma of those who serve in the military, especially those who have been forced to live in silence like our transgender family in the service. He has no idea of the impact of his words on the countless numbers of young people who will now be deterred from signing up to serve because of this unconscionable move rooted in prejudice.
“Just a short time ago, we were celebrating the Obama Administration and the Congress for working together to repeal the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy that barred lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving openly. This President is now trying to roll back the great progress we have made as a nation by going after the most vulnerable population of service members in our military. This is an even more despicable action considering the President was able to defer his own service to our country five times during the Vietnam War.
“We will not let this abysmal series of tweets by this President or a push by the Trump Administration to change this policy to stop us from standing up to the malicious forces of bigotry. Our leaders have the responsibility to break down barriers of discrimination, not promote them. As Americans, it is our duty to respect and honor those who volunteer to serve and defend our nation. The National Black Justice Coalition will join the immense chorus of opposition to this move and will not stop until this President starts to act on behalf of all the people by retracting this dangerous and thoughtless statement.”