WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the Navy granted its first waiver to allow a transgender service member to remain in uniform. The waiver was granted to a Sailor over a year after President Trump’s discriminatory transgender ban went into effect, which threatened her ability to continue serving the country after nearly a decade.

“The Navy’s decision to grant a waiver to this Sailor exposes President Trump’s transgender ban for what it is: Illogical and discriminatory. If a service member has proven that they are fit to serve, then it is irrelevant if they are transgender or cisgender. 

“I am glad that this Sailor, who has dedicated nearly a decade of her life to defending our country as a surface warfare officer and is highly qualified, can now continue to serve in her preferred gender. It is unfortunate however, that this decision doesn’t change the circumstance for thousands of other transgender service members who still face discrimination because of President Trump’s ban.

“It is time for this ban to end. The members of our military deserve our respect for their service and sacrifice – including those who are transgender.”