The RNC approved the resolution Friday at its annual winter meeting, which this year is taking place in West Virginia. Trump delivered remarks at the event this week before departing for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.
According to the Associated Press, the RNC voted to support Trump’s directive instructing the military to consider being transgender “a disqualifying psychological and physical” condition.
The resolution reportedly says the RNC supports Trump’s “intent and prerogative to strengthen our military with sound personnel policies,” but also urges the Justice Department to seek U.S. Supreme Court action.
According to the AP, it’s a common practice for the RNC to pass resolutions supporting the president’s policy, especially what that policy is challenged in court. There was no public debate on the measure during the RNC’s general session Friday, the AP reported.
Lucas Acosta, director of LGBTQ media for the Democratic National Committee, said approval of the resolution was par for the course for Republicans and the Trump White House.
“Over the last month alone, the Trump-Pence administration has rolled back significant protections for the LGBTQ community, ripped apart families and allowed health care workers to discriminate access to medical care,” Acosta said. “Today, the RNC decided to go even further and pass a hateful resolution, which only serves to subvert and further demean hardworking men and women who want to serve their country in the most honorable way they can.”
After Trump first announced via Twitter in June he would ban transgender people from the military “in any capacity,” he followed that up with a directive to the Pentagon barring them from service or enlistment and denying payment for troops who need gender reassignment surgery.
But as a result of multiple court orders following litigation from LGBT groups, Trump’s transgender ban was put on hold.
Nonetheless, the Pentagon is still expected to produce a report for Trump on transgender military service. As outlined in Trump’s directive, a panel will present recommendations by the end of February to Defense Secretary James Mattis, who will then advise Trump for new policy on March 23.
LGBT groups harangued the RNC for approving a resolution, calling it an attack on members of the U.S. armed forces.
Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement the only disruption the military endured as a result of transgender people was Trump’s attempt to remove them.
“The fact is that we’ve shown, both through studies and experience, that open service by transgender troops is good for the military,” Keisling said. “We look forward to the courts settling this once and for all so that transgender troops can focus on protecting our country without having to worry about their job security every day.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement the RNC’s approval of the resolution demonstrates the impact of Trump’s anti-LGBT policy.
“President Trump’s bigoted proposal to purge qualified military personnel is in direct contradiction to the will of the American people and what’s best for our nation’s security,” Ellis said. “The fact that the RNC is siding with blatant discrimination over supporting the rights of brave Americans to serve our nation displays how toxic and deeply rooted the Trump Administration’s anti-LGBTQ ideology has become.”
Ashley Braodway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, gave no quarter in her assessment of the RNC resolution.
“Shame on the Republican National Committee for slandering the brave transgender men and women who serve our nation,” Broadway-Mack said. “Not only did the RNC just degrade active duty service members, but they also maligned countless military families across the country with family members who also happen to be transgender. This is a disgusting, vile attempt to play politics with the lives of our military families.”