FULLERTON, CA – Today, Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) joined 11 Members of Congress who served in the military or in national security fields in urging the Department of Defense to rescind its transgender servicemember ban. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination, the Members argue in a letter sent to Defense Secretary Esper that this standard should be applied to military service too. Rep. Cisneros has repeatedly called for the end of this discriminatory ban. To read the full letter, click here.
“The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. While lower courts have held that Title VII does not apply to uniformed military personnel, it is in our nation’s interest that the policies of our armed forces align with the spirit and intent of our civil rights laws to the utmost extent possible,” the Members wrote. “It is in our military’s own interest to focus on standards that directly impact mission success like physical fitness rather than on policies that effectively discriminate against patriotic Americans based on gender identity. We strongly urge you to rescind the Department’s policy on transgender military service and stand ready—as Members of Congress, as veterans, and as Americans—to assist.”
Rep. Cisneros has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ equality, most recently in his opposition to the President’s transgender service member ban. He spoke in support of H.R. 124, a resolution expressing opposition to the transgender ban, and spoke at a rally calling on the President to not move forward with this policy. Rep. Cisneros praised the recent SCOTUS decision to protect LGBTQ+ workers from workplace discrimination. He is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, and the bill is now referred to the Senate.