California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington state are defying Trump's bigoted transgender ban.
As of Tuesday, National Guard leaders in five states are refusing to implement Trump's bigoted military ban against transgender troops.
California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington state rejected the discriminatory ban and will continue to allow transgender troops to serve in their respective states' National Guard, according to the Daily Beast. States are primarily in charge of their own National Guard troops.
After the ban took effect, Maj. Gen. Matthew Beavers of the California National Guard told the Hill that it is "unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity." He added that "every transgendered soldier or airmen currently serving in the California National Guard will remain in our ranks."
Other states soon followed suit.
Nevada's Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat "believes the only criteria to serve in the Nevada National Guard is one's readiness to serve," his spokesperson told the Daily Beast.
"I will use every option available to ensure that every eligible Oregonian, regardless of gender identity, can serve their state and country," Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) told the Daily Beast.
Military leaders — both retired and current — have opposed the ban since Trump first announced it on Twitter in 2017, apparently after watching an anti-LGBTQ segment on Fox News. That year, more than 55 retired generals and admirals blasted the idea of a transgender ban. The group wrote a letter stating such a ban "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."
In 2018, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was supportive of transgender troops serving openly.
Earlier this month, Jennifer Peace, a captain currently serving in the U.S. Army, slammed the ban as a policy that creates "a second class of soldiers."
If troops meet the standards to serve, they should serve, retired Major Gen. Paul Eaton told Shareblue Media. Eater, a former Iraq War commander and senior adviser to VoteVets, added that he is hopeful the actions of these governors "will re-stoke the debate, and eventually lead to a repeal of the ban that Donald Trump put in place, which only hurts our military."
But Trump ignored the advice of current and former military leaders and moved forward with the ban. Several lawsuits have been filed against it, but a radically conservative Supreme Court has allowed the bigoted ban to take effect as these suits make their way through the court system.
Now, leaders in several states are refusing to let Trump's discrimination seep into their ranks and negatively affect their readiness.
"We're not interested in auditing any individual's fitness to serve on the basis of gender identity," a spokesperson for Gov.Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) told the Daily Beast.
Even as Trump seeks to inject discrimination into the military, a growing number of states are refusing to comply.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.