Calif. National Guard: Transgender Troops Are Welcome

SACRAMENTO -- The California National Guard is sending an important message to transgender soldiers -- that they are welcome and their jobs are secure, despite an effort from the Trump administration to ban them from the armed forces.

Major General Matthew Beevers is standing firm on his position involving transgender soldiers and airmen in the National Guard.

“Service of state and nation should be open to everyone who wants to serve,” Beevers said.

Beevers told lawmakers with the Assembly Veterans Affair Committee Tuesday the State of California will not be removing transgender members of the national guard from their ranks.

“At the end of the day, it fundamentally does not matter how you gender identify. It doesn’t matter if you’re LGBT,” he said. “As long as you can fight and do the right thing and support your state and nation, then you are good on us.”

His testimony comes less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 upholding the Trump administration’s 2017 ban on transgender people serving in the military.

“These are people’s lives. These are people who it’s not just that they’re in the military. These are their jobs. It’s their livelihood and what their families might depend on,” Equality California Legislative Director Alice Kessler said.

Both the local LGBT community and the state’s governor agree that the national ban is wrong, and remarks by the California National Guard were in line with the state’s values of freedom for all and non-discrimination.

“Those who put on a uniform and defend our liberties and freedom deserve a special place in our hearts,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “To see those individuals who are literally willing to sacrifice their lives on behalf of those principles and those freedoms is unconscionable and should be called out as such.”

Beevers says he will continue to follow the rules and regulation directed by the federal government — but says he’s also hopeful that the national ban will be lifted again

“As the court proceedings continue, I believe we will get to the right place on this issue,” he said.

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