Gay Primary Source

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Senators Introduce Pro-Transgender Troops Legislation

" U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a bipartisan bill that would protect transgender service members by preventing the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Transgender troops have been openly serving in the military since June 2016. This legislation comes after Senate leadership cut off debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Senate did not get an opportunity to vote on the bipartisan amendment introduced by Gillibrand and Collins, and supported by McCain and Reed, that would have achieved the same goal.

“When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country,” said Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve - including those who are transgender. The Senate Armed Services Committee will review the results of the DOD study on accession and will continue to work closely with our military leaders on any policy changes as we conduct oversight on this important issue."

“Despite being denied a vote on my bipartisan amendment to defend our transgender service members, we are not giving up in this fight,” said Senator Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. “I am so grateful to Chairman McCain, Senator Collins, and Ranking Member Reed for joining me to introduce this bipartisan bill to block the Defense Department from kicking transgender troops out of our military. Thousands of brave transgender Americans love our country enough to risk their lives for it, fight for it, and even die for it, and Congress should honor them and let them serve. Doing otherwise would only harm our readiness at a time when our military is deployed around the world in defense of our country. I am proud to lead this fight in the Senate, and I urge all of my colleagues to join us in supporting this bill."

“Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Senator Collins. “If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to kick them out of the military."

“The President has manufactured a crisis for political reasons, one that is discriminatory and deeply harmful to those currently serving. Transgender service members deployed today are serving with honor and distinction. The last thing they need while serving in a combat zone is to worry about being involuntarily separated,” said Senator Reed. “Congress needs to act on a bipartisan basis to do what is best for our country and national security, and that includes overturning President Trump's poorly conceived transgender ban." "

September 15, 2017

     Click here to read the entire statement 


Saturday, August 5, 2017

56 Generals & Admirals (Retd.) Slam Trmp Trans Ban

" The Commander in Chief has tweeted a total ban of honorably serving transgender troops. 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. As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving - and who want to serve - must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.

President Trump seeks to ban transgender service members because of the financial cost and disruption associated with transgender military service. We respectfully disagree, and consider these claims to be without merit. The Rand Corporation, as well as research in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the financial cost of providing health care to transgender troops would be, at most, $8.4 million per year. This amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent of the military’s annual health care budget. As for ostensible disruptions, transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders. Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.

Recently, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have taken courageous stands in support of our transgender service members. General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, ‘The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.’

And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, ‘I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.’ Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.’ We could not agree more. " August 1, 2017.

     click here to see the original and all the signatories 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sen. McCain Slams Prez Anti-Transgender Tweet

" The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are. "

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, July 26, 2017.

     Click here to read entire statement


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Malta Approves Same-Sex Marriage

" The Maltese Parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill during its third and final reading, making Malta the 25th country in the world, and the 15th in Europe, to approve such a law. This was the first law which Government moved in Parliament during this new legislature, as promised by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The aim of this law is that of modernising marriage law through the mainstreaming of equality for all. This means that the institution of marriage is now fully gender neutral to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and genderqueer (LGBTIQ) persons are free to contract a marriage with their loved ones, be they of the same or a different sex, and also to parent children without having unnecessary references to their gender or biological make-up on their children’s birth certificates.

It also means that all discrepancies between husband and wife have now been removed. For example, both are now free to adopt or take on their partner’s surname without distinction. Their siblings would then take on the family surname that the couple chooses on their marriage day.

During the process towards the adoption of the Bill, a lot of the discussion centred on whether it was necessary to convert civil marriage to a fully gender neutral institution. Government insisted that this was necessary in order to respect the anti-discrimination provisions in the country’s Constitution adopted in 2014 relative to sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Government indicated that both the Civil Unions Act, and the Cohabitation Act adopted in 2014 and 2016 respectively are both gender neutral, and that marriage should not be an exception.

A celebration organised by the Government of Malta and the LGBTIQ Consultative Council (a government instituted body consisting of representatives of all LGBTIQ civil society organisations) was held in front of the Auberge de Castille, the seat of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Government of Malta press release, July 12, 2017.

     Click here to see original


Saturday, June 24, 2017

California AG Bans State Travel to GLBTQ-Phobic States

" Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states. While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state, June 22, 2017.

Canada's Prime Minister Marks Pride with Historic Legislation

" Hello, everyone. Happy pride!

Happy pride month! Thanks for joining us today as we raise the pride flag, the trans pride flag and the Canada 150 pride flag on Parliament Hill. I’m pleased to be here with Minister Wilson-Raybould, Minister Goodale, as well as assembled ministers and MPs of all parties, as well as my special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonneault.

Randy – thanks for your terrific work on behalf of the community. We really broke new ground with this advisor role, and the work you’ve been doing is essential to ensuring a more just Canada for all. Thank you.

You know, last year, when we raised the Pride flag for the first time here on the Hill, it was a historic moment for Canadians. But at this year’s flag raising, we’re doing something even more important, and even more historic.

This year’s ceremony marks another milestone as we acknowledge and work to rectify historical injustices experienced by Canadians due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. I am pleased to announce today that our government will be moving forward with a process for the expungement of criminal convictions for Canadians who were unjustly convicted of a crime simply for who they were and who they loved.

We will be introducing legislation on this in the House of Commons later this year. Further, we will acknowledge and apologize for the role played by legislation, programs, and policies in the historical discrimination faced by LGBTQ2 Canadians.

As we announced last month, we are committed to apologizing in an inclusive and meaningful manner before the end of 2017.

I believe that it’s essential to make amends for past wrongs, not to simply gloss over them. Today’s announcement and the forthcoming apology are important steps in the right direction. Our government believes in equality and equal treatment for all Canadians and we’re proud to take concrete action to make that a reality.

We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are unacceptable.

In Canada, we’ve come a long way but there is still more work to be done. There is still work to do, fights to be had, here in Canada, and more and more around the world. Canadians get that recognizing LGBTQ2 rights are recognizing human rights, and leading around the world in the fight for equality, for respect, for opportunity is something that is as much a part of Canada as the maple leaf flying over Parliament Hill and as now the pride flags are.

This is something we commit ourselves to now, in our 150th year since Confederation and every year as we move forward. Let us stay vigilant and ambitious while we work together towards a brighter, safer, more accepting future for all.

Thank you very much. Thank you my friends. Thank you! "

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; remarks at the flag raising ceremony for Pride Month, June 14, 2017.

Canada Praises Pride Month

June marks the beginning of Pride season across the country, where we celebrate all those who seek to be who they truly are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It is also a time of year where we recognize the many barriers Canadians from these communities have overcome, and the challenges they continue to face.

Throughout the coming months, I will join Canadians in these celebrations and, as the month of June is National Aboriginal History Month, I want to extend special recognition of two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender members of Canada’s Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada takes seriously the responsibility to challenge stigma, violence, and prejudices wherever they occur and I remain personally committed to advance and protect our communities’ rights and address historical injustices they have endured.

Canadians recognize that diversity and inclusion make our country stronger, no matter whom each of us loves or how we identify.

Special Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, M.P. Randy Boissonnault, June 1, 2017.

     click for original