Protect Transgender Soldiers from Discriminatory Firings

Target: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

Goal: Don’t let the military kick out transgender soldiers just for their gender identity.

Transgender people serving in the United States Navy or Marine Corps can be forced to leave by transphobic officers just for being who they are. Other military branches have elevated the level of bureaucratic approval needed to dismiss transgender soldiers to prevent this kind of discrimination, but the Navy and the Marine Corps have not. Demand that these branches do the same as soon as possible.

While openly transgender people are still not allowed to enlist in the American military, those who come out as trans after they are already in are being more and more accepted by the military leadership. That increasing acceptance is reflected in recent policy changes the Army and Air Force have enacted that require all discharge decisions for transgender soldiers in these branches to be reviewed by high-level leaders at each branch’s headquarters before becoming official. Theses changes are designed to protect transgender soldiers from bigoted officers of lower rank who would try to discharge them just because of their gender.

The Navy and Marine Corps are the only military branches that have not adopted such anti-transphobia screening processes. Encouragingly, the Navy has recently announced that it is considering doing so, but so far the Marine Corps has stood firm and gone on record saying it is “not currently reviewing changes to the decision-making authorities for the involuntary separation of any of our Marines.”

There is no reason that both the Navy and the Marine Corps shouldn’t protect its transgender soldiers in the same way that the Army and the Air Force do. Until trans people can enlist openly without fear, it’s the least we can do. Sign the petition below to demand that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus implement this screening process in the Navy and the Marine Corps.


Dear Secretary Mabus,

I am writing you today regarding the announcement the Navy recently made that it is considering adopting the elevated discharge requirements for transgender members that the Army and the Air Force did. This is great news, and such a change should be made official as soon as possible.

At the same time, the other military branch that you have responsibility over—the Marine Corps—has flatly refused to make any such discharge policy changes. I’m sure you will agree that this is a big problem. As long as transphobic officers can force transgender marines out of the Corps with little-to-no oversight from higher-ups, the Marine Corps will be a state-sanctioned and state-funded bastion of bigotry and hate.

The Navy should absolutely adopt this policy, but so should the Marine Corps. Until the federal government forces the military to allow transgender people to openly enlist and serve, it’s literally the least these branches can do. I demand that you exercise your power as Secretary of the Navy to ensure that the Navy and the Marine Corps both adopt the same discharge screening process for transgender soldiers that the Air Force and Army implemented.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United States Navy

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