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Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) and OutServe-SLDN praised a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives voting down a vicious amendment that would have ripped away medically necessary health care for transgender service members and military dependents. Proposed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), the amendment would have barred access to transition-related health care — including critically important care such as hormone therapy — for service members and military family members. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 214 to 209.

“This was a horrifying, vicious attack on service members and military family members, and our families were beside themselves in fear,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “It would have been beyond unconscionable to rip away the critically important health care of transgender military family members and service members — care that their doctors believe is medically necessary — and would have severely harmed thousands of military families and undermined military readiness. We are incredibly grateful to the members of Congress who stood up and stopped this assault on our military families.”

“Congresswoman Hartzler’s attempt to strip healthcare from service members and their families in a time of war was unpatriotic, unconstitutional, and just plain vile, we are pleased to see that the House of Representatives voted down this amendment” said OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn. “It would have been harmful to trans servicemembers, spouses, and families with trans children; it would have undermined our mission readiness by degrading our capabilities as a fighting force. OutServe-SLDN will continue to support and defend our trans brothers and sisters in any and all legal and advocacy matters.”

Since October 2016, it has been the policy of the Department of Defense to allow transgender members of the armed forces to serve openly and authentically. Estimates show there are more than 15,500 transgender individuals currently serving in the armed services. In addition to these service members, thousands of service members also have members of their families who are transgender.