Press Release ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
July 13, 2015
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this evening after the Pentagon announced that a working group will be formed to determine whether transgender Americans may serve openly in the Armed Forces: 

"The Secretary of Defense's announcement that a working group will be established to study the implications of permitting transgender Americans to serve openly in our military is welcome news.  All who are fit to serve in defense of our nation should be afforded the chance to do so, irrespective of gender identity or expression.  Already, transgender Americans are serving in uniform and doing so with honor and distinction in every branch of our military.  It's time they were able to serve without having to hide who they are.  

"I was proud to help lead the effort as Majority Leader in 2010 to repeal the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that barred gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military. Now it's time to ensure that no LGBT individual is denied that opportunity.  I urge the Pentagon's new task force to complete its work quickly and end the ban on transgender Americans serving openly once and for all."