ARLINGTON, Va. — SPARTA, the nation’s leading transgender military service organization, announced its 2022 legislative priorities Monday. SPARTA and other rights organizations have long sought to codify the ability to serve in the military, regardless of regardless of gender identity or any other category that has no bearing on an individual’s ability to serve.
In one of his first statements as Secretary of Defense on January 25and2021 Lloyd Austin made the same point that “all transgender people who wish to serve in the U.S. military and can meet the appropriate standards must be able to do so openly and without discrimination.”
Despite the position of the current Biden administration, without congressional legislative changes, a future president could reinstate discriminatory policies with an executive order and roll back transgender services.
A spokesman for the advocacy group said he believed legislative action was needed to ensure this nation would be able to attract and retain the best and brightest who are ready to serve. The spokesperson also said that “SPARTA is calling on Congress to pass an updated version of the ‘Truman Amendment’ that would enshrine in law the ability to serve transgender and intersex people.”
“We believe this year is the best opportunity we will have for some time to make meaningful change,” said SPARTA Acting Communications Director Alleria Stanley, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant. “Not only do we have the renewed examples of so many transgender troops serving honorably and openly, but we also believe we have the necessary support in Congress to make sure it stays that way.”
In order to make the case, SPARTA will bring about 30 transgender service members to Capitol Hill to speak with lawmakers on June 8.and. “I look forward to speaking with my representatives, as I want to emulate the example of the first, but not the last, transgender service member,” said Melody Stachour, SPARTA’s director of community relations and chief petty officer of the Naval Reserve. “Through nearly six years of open transgender service, we’ve seen the military grow stronger and more inclusive, and I’m thrilled to help Congress understand how this has become a reality for service members around the world.”
Stachour also noted that SPARTA believes their service examples will be a powerful indicator of the value transgender troops bring to their units and the military in general.
SPARTA’s Board of Directors unanimously re-elected Bree Fram, a US Space Force Lt. Col., to a second term as President and Chairman of the Board. Bree’s primary focus for the year will be SPARTA’s efforts to pursue legislative change that guarantees the ability for transgender people to serve.
His other priorities remain opening the door to an inclusive non-binary service policy, streamlining access to care for transgender service members, and reducing the administrative burden on troops and their commanders regarding gender transition. She is also excited to continue the work that has been done over the past year to normalize transgender policy within the Department of Defense and the inclusion of transgender service members in the development of this policy.
“I couldn’t be happier to continue working with the incredible SPARTA team to ensure an inclusive Army that empowers every individual and every team to reach their full potential,” Fram said. “I am convinced that the work we are doing is developing a stronger army; one that will soon be hard to think about without considering the contributions of transgender service members invaluable.
Fram was also recently honored by the Department of the Air Force (DAF) as 2021 Volunteer of the Year, primarily for the work she has done supporting transgender service members through SPARTA and l DAF’s LGBTQ+ Initiatives Team. Fram was also named “LGBTQ+ Engineer of the Year 2021” by Out to Innovate. Out to Innovate recognizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
From Out to Innovate announcement:
“The LGBTQ+ Engineer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their field and recognizes the winner for sustained contributions in design, production, management or research. Lt. Col. Bree Fram has been an active duty member since 2003 and is currently with the United States Space Force. Fram is currently responsible for developing policies used by Space Force to develop, build, test, and deliver critical joint combat capabilities as Deputy Division Chief for Acquisition Policies and Processes in support of the Deputy Secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration. ”