Five states are reportedly pressing forward with allowing transgender troops to serve in their National Guard despite the Trump administration's recent military ban.
The Daily Beast reports Nevada, Oregon, Washington, California and New Mexico all say they will continue to allow transgender people to serve in their respective state's National Guard.
All 50 states and four U.S. territories have their own National Guard groups that primarily fall under the governor’s control, though it is not immediately clear how the states would directly defy the new policy and what the Department of Defense would do to the states that opt not to enforce the policy.
“I will use every option available to ensure that every eligible Oregonian, regardless of gender identity, can serve their state and country,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told The Daily Beast.
All the governors who confirmed their stances to the Daily Beast are Democrats and echoed Brown’s statement on the matter, with a spokesperson for Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Boosters take a big step forward Fired WSU football coach suing school over illegal termination Nearly 1,900 Washington state employees quit, fired over vaccine mandate MORE, who is running for president in 2020, saying the state would “welcome transgender service members to the greatest extent possible under the rules.”
“The State of Nevada does not discriminate against anyone, including and especially servicemembers, based on gender identity or expression,” Helen Kalla, communications director for Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, said in a statement. “Governor Sisolak believes the only criteria to serve in the Nevada National Guard is one’s readiness to serve.”
California National Guard Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers said that the gender identity of his soldiers “is the least of our concerns” just days after the policy went into effect.
The policy barring most transgender people from serving in the military unless it's under their biological sex took effect earlier this month, after being challenged by several lawsuits.
The policy does not impact currently enlisted transgender service members or anyone who has already signed an enlistment contract.
The Hill has reached out to the Department of Defense for clarification on how it will enforce the policy if individual states opt to defy it.