The House passed a new non-binding resolution on Thursday denouncing President Donald Trump’s ban of transgender Americans from serving in the military, according to reporting from NBC News. The motion passed 238-185, with all Democrats supporting the resolution and nearly every Republican voting against it.
The White House’s policy bars all people who have undergone gender transition surgery from enlisting in any branch of the armed forces. It also requires all current members of the military to continue serving as the gender the entered the armed forces with, unless they previously began transitioning under the Obama administration’s more open rules. Individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria are still allowed to join the military, providing a doctor certifies they have been comfortable in their biological sex for at least 36 months and that they have not transitioned to the gender they psychologically identify as.
The policy is already being challenged in court, though there have been no definitive rulings either way so far. A federal appeals court did lift an injunction against the policy taking effect, meaning it will go into action April 12 as originally planned, per The Hill.
The motion was proposed by Massachusetts Democratic representative Joe Kennedy III, chair of the Equality Caucus’ Transgender Equality Task Force. According to The Hill, the bill was co-sponsored by 216 other Democrats and Republican representative John Katko of New York. Katko joined fellow GOP representatives Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, Will Hurd of Texas, Tom Reed of New York, and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania in voting for the resolution. Republican Justin Amash of Michigan voted present.
The House rebuffed a move by the Trump administration to restrict transgender individuals from serving in the military https://t.co/J7LUypYGIZ— POLITICO (@politico) March 28, 2019
The resolution stated that “our national security by undermining our ability to recruit and retain the talented personnel” and that “claims attempting to justify President Trump’s ban are based on flawed scientific and medical assertions.”
Before the resolution was voted on, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith gave an impassioned speech on the House floor against the Pentagon’s new policy.
“We believe that the policy that the Pentagon is putting forward is unfair and based on ignorance and bigotry and will actually harm national security. The policy [that] is being implemented will make it virtually impossible to let them serve in the military. It’s discrimination. It’s hard to find the people who have the character, the capability and the ability to serve in our military. We have the best military in the history of the world.”
The Republican-controlled Senate is not expected to do anything with the resolution.