Republicans are introducing measures in both houses of Congress that, if passed, would ban some transgender people from serving in the military, The Hill reported.
The Ensuring Military Readiness Act, sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), would disqualify Americans who identify as transgender, have a history of gender dysphoria or who have undergone gender-reassignment surgery. In the House, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana), the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, will introduce companion legislation to Rubio's measure.
Exceptions include those who have been "stable in their biological sex" for 36 months prior to joining the military. Active service members who experience gender dysphoria on the date of the legislation's enactment, as well as transgender people without a history of gender dysphoria, would be eligible to serve only under their sex assigned at birth.
In a press release, Rubio said, "We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter threats like China, Russia, and North Korea and less time thinking about pronouns."
LGBTQ+-rights organizations, including GLAAD, have repeatedly decried Republican-led efforts to restrict transgender people from serving in the military, calling them baseless attacks not rooted in fact.
In a media release, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said, "We should be honoring anyone who chooses to serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. They are our heroes. They deserve our gratitude and respect.
"It is despicable that Senator Rubio and Congressman Banks are harkening back to an unpopular, Trump-era policy that would make it impossible for nearly every transgender American to serve openly in the military. The current policy is working and makes our military stronger. This is nothing more than a political stunt, aimed at riling up an extremist base at the expense of what is best for our military, and it will fail."