July 11 (UPI) — The House passed an amendment Thursday seeking to reverse President Donald Trump‘s policy banning transgender people from serving in the armed forces.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2020 would enshrine in law protections against preventing people from serving in the military based on their race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.
House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to approve the amendment by a count of 242-187.
“Today is a watershed moment in the fight to celebrate and protect open transgender millitary service,” the amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said in a statement.
The Human Rights Campaign expressed gratitude to Speier and the House for passing the amendment.
“The Trump-Pence administration’s trans troop ban goes against medical experts, military leadership and budget analysts; it is unsound, unpopular and unpatriotic,” HRC national press secretary Sarah McBride said.
The policy requiring members of the U.S. armed forces to follow military standards associated with their birth gender and prohibiting people who have received transitional therapies from joining the military took effect on Apri 12.