The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach expresses extreme alarm and opposition to President Donald Trump’s morning announcement [Wednesday] implementing a total ban on transgender people from serving in the United States military. The decision to announce this ban on Twitter, and the President’s use of the grammatically incorrect phrase “transgender in the military,” is disgusting, dehumanizing and demonstrative again of the current administration’s repeated assault on the LGBTQ community.
Trump’s announcement, while repugnant and grossly discriminatory on its own, further serves to use the transgender community as a distraction from today’s scheduled debate in the United States Senate to force a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will result in tremendous consequences for LGBTQ and HIV-affected people and further erode equitable access to health care for some of the most vulnerable and at-risk communities in our nation.
President Trump has made clear time and time again that he intends to eradicate gains made by the LGBTQ community in order to deflect attention away from his extreme agenda to upend legal protections improving the lives of millions of marginalized Americans. This is immoral. The United States is now in the embarrassing position of upholding a discriminatory military policy rejected by more than a dozen closely allied countries.
Transgender service members are encouraged to seek legal assistance immediately, and resources and referrals are available at The Center. Additionally, The Center encourages people to contact their elected members of the United States Senate to express concerns related to the President’s discriminatory announcement and attempts to eliminate healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. Contact information for all Senators can be found at senate.gov/general/contacting.htm.
Our community must make clear that institutionalized discrimination against LGBTQ people is unacceptable. The President has brought shame to himself, his administration and the Republican party. Those of us on the right side of history are taking a stand right now against this discrimination and inequity.
The Center provides free legal consultations twice weekly and provides referrals to private and public legal resources every day. Mental-health resources are also available to anyone in need of emotional support. For more information on The Center’s services, the community can call (562) 434-4455, go to centerlb.org or visit 2017 E. 4th St.