Mccain backs bill to per­mit trans­gen­der troops to serve

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - OBITUARIES -

The Repub­li­can chair­man of the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee on Fri­day backed leg­is­la­tion that would bar the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion from forc­ing trans­gen­der troops out of the armed forces.

Sen. John Mccain of Ari­zona said in a state­ment that any ser­vice mem­ber, in­clud­ing those who are trans­gen­der, who meets the stan­dards for mil­i­tary readi­ness and med­i­cal fit­ness should be per­mit­ted to serve.

“When less than 1 per cent of Amer­i­cans are vol­un­teer­ing to join the mil­i­tary, we should wel­come all those who are will­ing and able to serve our coun­try,’’ he said.

The bill is an at­tempt to es­tab­lish pro­tec­tions for trans­gen­der troops in law, cut­ting off Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ef­forts to kick ser­vice mem­bers out based on their gen­der iden­tity. Trump in July tweeted that he would ban trans­gen­der troops from serv­ing any­where in the U.S. mil­i­tary.

The di­rec­tive caught the Pen­tagon flat-footed as de­fence of­fi­cials strug­gled to ex­plain what they called Trump’s guid­ance.

About a month later the pres­i­dent is­sued more for­mal in­struc­tions, di­rect­ing the Pen­tagon to ex­tend in­def­i­nitely a ban on trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als join­ing the mil­i­tary.

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