Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is doing everything within his power to ensure Connecticut’s military doesn’t discriminate against gender identity or expression by signing an executive order reinforcing the state’s nondiscrimination policies.
The executive order follows Republican President Donald Trump’s tweet Wednesday morning announcing the United States would no longer accept or allow “Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
Malloy’s executive order directs the Connecticut National Guard, the Connecticut Air National Guard, and the other armed forces of the state to take no action that discriminates against service members in enlistment, promotion, or any other aspect of their service, on the basis of their gender identity or expression, unless superseded by federal law, regulation, or formal directive from the U.S. Department of Defense.
It also directs the Connecticut Military Department to review existing personnel policies and any formal directive from the Department of Defense or other federal entity, whether issued today or in the future, to ensure that service members are afforded the maximum protection and the greatest opportunity to serve our state and nation, regardless of their gender identity or expression, and to minimize any discriminatory impact on service members from any federal directive.
A recent study estimated that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members currently serving on active duty and an additional 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves — all of whom could be discharged from the military under the president’s new policy.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said Trump’s tweet “is the height of irresponsibility.”
He said it comes at the same time the Department of Defense is undergoing a six-month comprehensive review of the policy allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military.
“Undercutting their work, and setting military policy by tweet, is reckless and disrespectful in the extreme,” Courtney said.
He added that Trump’s use of the phrase “my generals” when referring to the senior commanders of the United States Armed Forces “flies in the face of our democratic norms and institutions. This is a nation of laws, not rulers. While the president is the Commander in Chief of the military, military leaders do not serve him alone. They took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution, not any one person.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said “this rash and surprising Tweet contradicts the Department of Defense’s previous policy decision to allow transgender service members to serve openly, and constitutes official discrimination.”