Measure would make eligible for military service ANY American who can meet standards, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion or sex — including gender identity or sexual orientation
Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) — the nation’s largest non-profit organization for the LGBTQ military and veteran community — hailed the introduction of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would make eligible for military service any qualified American who can meet standards, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion or sex — including gender identity or sexual orientation.
Introduced today by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the HASC MilPers Subcommittee, along with Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Susan Davis (D-CA), the measure would simply put into statute the Department of Defense’s own inclusive language used in its military equal opportunity program.
“This critically important amendment would help ensure any qualified American — including transgender patriots — are able to serve our country in the military,” said MMAA Executive Director and Navy veteran Andy Blevins. “What really matters for military service is whether a person is able, qualified and willing — not who they are or where they come from. Passing this measure would send a powerful message of inclusion, strengthen military readiness, and allow the military to recruit the best and the brightest our nation has to offer. We urge the House Rules Committee to pass this amendment, and we thank Representatives Jackie Speier, Joe Kennedy, Anthony Brown and Susan Davis for their leadership on this issue.”
The amendment text can be found here, and the House Committee on Rules is expected to consider the measure the week of July 8. The amendment would codify the Department of Defense’s own language. The 2016 DoD Directive 1020.02E, Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in the DoD, states equal opportunity is “critical to mission accomplishment, unit cohesiveness, and military readiness.” The directive states that all service members should be “afforded equal opportunity in an environment free from harassment, including sexual harassment, and unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity), or sexual orientation.”