gettyimages 544193042 Two senators just started a bipartisan effort to protect transgender servicemembers

Transgender Retired US Army Colonel Sheri Swokowski prepares her uniform on July 1, 2016. (DEREK HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is one of a pair of senators introducing an amendment to prevent the U.S. Department of Defense from removing service members from the military because of their gender identity.

Collins, a Republican, is working on the amendment with Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. They say their amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would protect transgender service members.

The senators say their amendment would require Secretary of Defense James Mattis to proceed with a report on military service by transgender people and provide findings to Congress. Collins says the U.S. should be “expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”

President Donald Trump announced in July that the government wouldn’t accept transgender people to service in the military.


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