WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Representative from Indiana was one of just five Republicans in Congress to rebuke President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Bloomington, voted with 233 Democrats to oppose banning transgender people from the Armed Forces. The resolution is non-binding, meaning it causes no change, but is a symbolic action.
Trump’s policy bans people who have undergone gender transition from enlisting in the military. It also requires military personnel to serve as their biological gender unless they began a gender transition in the Obama administration, according to the Associated Press. The policy is being challenged in court.
“The honor of serving our country and protecting American freedoms should be open to anyone who can pass the physical, psychological, and medical exams,” Hollingsworth said.
Opponents to Trump’s policy say it discriminates against transgender people. Those who support it point to the medical costs of care for transgender men and women.
There are about 15,000 troops in the Armed Forces who identify as transgender. The Pentagon says it has spent about $8 million on transgender care since 2016. The military's annual health care budget is more than $50 billion, according to the AP.
The four other Republicans who voted in favor of the resolution are Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas, John Katko of New York and Tom Reed of New York.