BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says transgender troops remain welcome in the Massachusetts National Guard, despite President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.
In a letter to state legislators, Secretary of Public Safety Thomas Turco said the administration “will continue to support transgender soldiers and airmen in serving our Commonwealth with dignity and respect.”
The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender.
Several Democratic lawmakers who had asked the Republican governor to reject Trump’s policy praised the administration’s response in a statement Wednesday.
National Guard units are under the command of governors in each state but can be called up to federal service by the president.
Turco also promised assistance for Massachusetts residents seeking waivers from the transgender ban to serve in the U.S. military. Waivers can be granted on a case-by-case basis under the federal policy.