WASHINGTON Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, assailed House Speaker Paul Ryan for clearing a path for a dangerous anti-transgender amendment and then making false claims about the process to dodge culpability. Ryan made two false claims, both of which were reported by the Washington Blade:
False Claim #1: "I think it's important that we work closely with the DOD on this. As you probably know, Secretary Mattis is under a review on this right now, and so that I want to make sure that what we do is in close coordination with them." -Paul Ryan
False Claim #2: "It's a free process," Ryan said. "It's open process. She can bring an amendment to the floor if she wants to."
"Speaker Ryan's claims that this process was somehow open are completely false," said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. "There were several pro-LGBTQ amendments submitted by members of Congress and not a single one made it through Ryan's so-called 'open process.' Speaker Ryan and GOP leadership intentionally cleared the path for Rep. Hartzler's dangerous anti-transgender amendment to be made in order and fully share responsibility for this attack on transgender service members and their families. Despite his purported desire to work with the Pentagon, the Pentagon has not asked for this amendment and Secretary Mattis opposes it. We strongly urge the House to vote against this abhorrent amendment to strip transition-related health care from active duty troops and their families."
Speaker Ryan falsely claimed to have an "open process" for amendments submitted to the NDAA. The following pro-LGBTQ amendments were submitted for consideration but were not made in order to be voted on by the House:
178 Version 1
Pocan (WI), Gallego (AZ), Correa (CA), Schneider (IL), Jayapal (WA)
Guarantees a process for service members discharged solely because of their sexual orientation to initiate a timely, consistent, and transparent review of their discharge in order to change their record to reflect their honorable service.
244 Version 1
Polis (CO), Quigley (IL)
Directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on the impact of the FDA's policies restricting blood donations from men who have sex with men on the readiness of the Armed Forces and the blood supply of military medical treatment facilities.
295 Version 1
Maloney, Sean (NY)
Prohibits funds from being used to contravene the President's Executive Order pertaining to equal employment in Federal government contracting.
296 Version 1
Expresses the sense of Congress commending LGBT service members, including transgender personnel, for their service to the United States.
298 Version 2
Revised Expresses the sense of Congress that LGBT service members have served throughout the history of the U.S. with distinction, courage, and honor, and should be commended for their service.
397 Version 1
Late Requires the Secretary of Defense to complete a study on the impact of the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy on military readiness and provide the report within 30 days of completion to the congressional defense committees.