Statement ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
March 28, 2019
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-4131
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the Floor today to in support of a resolution introduced by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (MA-04), which rejects the Trump Administration’s discriminatory ban on transgender service members and urges the Department of Defense to not reinstate the discriminatory policy. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:
 
Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the resolution, introduced by my friend, the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Representative Joe] Kennedy.”

“His resolution simply states what millions and millions of Americans know to be true: that the Trump Administration's ban on transgender people serving their country in our military is discriminatory. It reflects bias. It reflects prejudice. Indeed, it reflects bigotry.”

“Martin Luther King Jr. said we ought to judge one another on the content of our character. The President's order does not do that. The President's order is based upon a prejudiced view of somebody because of a distinction that is not the content of their character, nor the quality of their performance."

“This resolution, millions of Americans understand, undermines our national defense at a time of serious global threats, and this resolution rightfully calls on the Trump Administration not to implement such a ban on April 12. To do so would be a blow to our country and the principles it represents.”

“I was proud to bring legislation to the Floor as Majority Leader that ended ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and it was overwhelmingly supported in this House and in the Senate and passed. It has been a benefit, not a detriment. In the years since, we've seen our military strengthen by the open service of many LGBT Americans that have helped advance our national security interests around the world.”

“To say to transgender service members in uniform that they must leave their units, not because they're not performing well, not because they're not needed, but because of who they are...This would be a shameful action for our country and deprive of us of their talent and contributions.”

“To deny transgender Americans the opportunity to put on that uniform and wear the flag of the country – as I do every day; they wish to serve with me – would be to diminish that flag, that Declaration of Independence, that Constitution of the United States of which we are so proud.”

“I hope my colleagues in this body will join in sending a clear message that the House, not Republicans, not Democrats, that the House of Representatives – the People's House reflects the values, the service, and patriotism of our transgender fellow Americans. Let us today reflect the best of our values, not the worst of our values. Pass this resolution.”