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State says transgender soldiers welcome in National Guard

July 18, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says transgender soldiers 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.”

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.

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