RESOLUTION BY THE ARLINGTON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
Urging Governor Northam to Support Transgender Troops Continuing
To Serve Openly in the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force
Consistent with practice throughout the United States Armed Forces, transgender troops have been serving openly in the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force. The nationwide military nondiscrimination policy that enabled this service has proved successful. No operational or morale problems have arisen. In 2017 President Trump nevertheless reversed the nondiscrimination policy and banned the enlistment of any additional transgender troops. He also placed tight restrictions on those already serving. His orders were delayed by court action for two years, but those injunctions are now being lifted. Unlike at least five other governors across the nation, Governor Northam has not announced that transgender people may continue to serve openly in the units under his command – the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force.
WHEREAS transgender members of the United States Armed Forces have fought in defense of our freedoms with honor and distinction since our Nation’s founding and have been awarded commendations and awards including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for their courage and sacrifices;
WHEREAS transgender servicemembers have served openly since 2016, bravely defending our nation with distinction while preserving unit cohesion and contributing to military readiness;
WHEREAS thousands of transgender Americans currently serve actively in the United States Armed Forces and in the Reserves throughout all branches and military occupational specialties;
WHEREAS all five military Chiefs of Staff have testified publicly that the nondiscrimination policy has had no adverse effect on military readiness;
WHEREAS at least 18 other nations allow transgender people to serve openly in their armed forces;
WHEREAS on July 26, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would henceforth ban transgender people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces;
WHEREAS the arguments made in support of President Trump’s new policy are based on incorrect scientific and medical assertions;
WHEREAS on August 1, 2017, 56 retired generals and admirals stated that “This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy”;
WHEREAS discrimination against transgender people is wrong;
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization removed “gender identity disorder” from its global manual of diagnoses on May 28, 2019, and replaced it with “gender incongruence,” a move heralded by Human Rights Watch as having a “liberating effect on transgender people worldwide;”
WHEREAS the Trump Administration’s transgender military restrictions went into effect in most of the country on April 12, 2019, will go into effect nationwide shortly, and military academies will begin to refuse transgender students in 2020;
WHEREAS the Virginia Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force;
WHEREAS five states (California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington) are allowing transgender troops to continue to serve openly in their states’ National Guard units despite President Trump’s policy; now therefore be it
Resolved, that the Arlington County Democratic Committee opposes President Trump’s discriminatory restrictions on service by transgender troops in the United States Armed Forces; and
Resolved further, that the Arlington County Democratic Committee urges Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to announce that transgender troops may continue to serve openly in the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force.
Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 5th day of June, 2019.