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House Democrats introduce bill to protect transgender military dependents

House Democrats introduce bill to protect transgender military dependents

A group of 39 House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a new bill to ensure that transgender dependents of active duty service members have access to needed health care. 

Led by Rep. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaOvernight Defense: US nearing halfway point of Afghanistan withdrawal | Army soldiers mistakenly raid olive oil factory House Democrats introduce bill to protect transgender military dependents The case for improving America's research and experimentation tax credit MORE (D-Calif.), the Armed Forces Transgender Dependent Protection Act would prevent the Defense Department from stationing service members and their transgender dependents “in states or countries that prohibit or otherwise restrict gender affirming healthcare and treatments” for them. 

“Despite the progress that we have made in our fight for LGBTQ equality, service members and their transgender dependents continue to face hurdles that threaten their development,” Panetta said in a statement announcing the bill.

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Republicans in more than 30 states across the country have passed or advanced legislation targeting transgender Americans, particularly students, in the past several months. Democrats and LGBT advocates have deemed such legislation as discriminatory and several lawsuits are expected to ensue.

Earlier on Tuesday, the first day of Pride Month, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFormer Fla. Gov calls for an investigation into the state's 'outsized role' in the Jan. 6 riot The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Florida pardons residents fined or arrested for mask violations MORE (R) signed a law that prohibits transgender student athletes from playing on teams that align with their gender identity.

The Biden administration has taken steps to show support for LGBT rights. 

President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE in January signed an executive order lifting the ban on transgender service members implemented during the Trump administration.

In late March, the Pentagon released its new rules allowing open service by transgender troops, essentially reverting to the Obama administration’s open service policy. 

But the Democratic lawmakers want to make sure the Pentagon goes a step further and install protections for the dependents of service members.  

“Across America, Republican-led states have embarked on the discriminatory mission of legislatively outlawing medical treatment for trans Americans,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Black Democrats press leaders for reparations vote this month House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists MORE (D-N.Y.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “Ensuring that transgender children and spouses of active duty service members can access medically necessary treatment is a question of dignity, fairness, and civil rights.”