Washington, DC — Following the August 25 decision by the Trump Administration, the LGBT Bar, NAPABA, NBA, NAWL, and HNBA released a joint statement condemning any ban on transgender military service.
An estimated 15,000 transgender individuals currently serve with honor in the US armed forces and an additional 134,000 transgender veterans are currently living across the country. To bar anyone based solely on their gender identity/expression is both discriminatory and illogical.
"Transgender service members are proud Americans willing to die for the freedoms we hold so dear," said D'Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National LGBT Bar Association. "To prevent them, or any future recruits, from serving exclusively on the basis of gender identity/expression does not just hurt the LGBT community. It damages the readiness and unit cohesion of our military and all of those who serve honorably and without reserve."
"We believe in equal opportunity and that includes the opportunity for transgender individuals to serve our country," said Cyndie M. Chang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "Our country and our military are stronger when we open the doors to service. The decision to exclude people because of their gender identity/expression harms us all."
"Denying any willing individual the ability to pursue a military career or necessary medical treatment as a member of our armed forces based on gender identity is an affront to the rights we cherish as Americans and the rights our military seeks to protect every day," said Jenny Waters, Executive Director of the National Association of Women Lawyers.
The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.
Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation's oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org .
The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. If you are not already a member, please considering joining. NAWL welcomes the membership of individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations. Learn more at www.nawl.org .
The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.
The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.