Congressman Joe Kennedy III will be accompanied by transgender soldier Staff Sgt. Patricia King to Trump’s first State of the Union address.
In protest of Trump’s attempt at a transgender military ban in 2017, Irish American Congressman Joe Kennedy III has invited transgender soldier Staff Sgt. Patricia King to the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
Already set to deliver the Democratic Party’s response to the address, the rising-star Massachusetts Congressman made the decision to invite King as his guest in a strong move of resistance against Trump's anti-transgender political moves. Last year, President Trump attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the military but was halted in the courts. As of January 1, 2018, transgender people can enlist in the military.
Patricia King represents the best and bravest our nation offers. She will make our Commonwealth and our country proud at the State of the Union on Tuesday night. https://t.co/Y9PgbhZihx— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) January 28, 2018
King herself was the first US service member to have her gender realignment surgery funded by the military after realizing she was a transgender woman while already serving. She came to the realization at the end of her last deployment in 2013, coming out to her family shortly afterward.
“I have served for almost 19 years,” King told the Boston Globe of Trump’s attempts to put an end to her service in the military as a transgender person.
“And all of a sudden, it is all hanging in the balance.
“There are much easier ways to get surgery covered than enlisting in the military, [facing] the possibility of deployment, and dealing with the stigma of being a transgender service member,” she added, speaking of the military paying for her surgery.
“Every one of us who raises our right hand is prepared to give everything in the defense of our country.”
Rep. Joe Kennedy, who will deliver the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address, has invited a transgender soldier to be his guest as a protest to the transgender military ban the Trump administration has put in place https://t.co/B6fkIcIuVm pic.twitter.com/bzzcFETEML— CNN (@CNN) January 29, 2018
“I want her to be there as a real person, and the face of an inhumane policy,” Kennedy said of his decision to extend his invite to King.
Other Democrats are also choosing their guests wisely as they take a political shot at the President, while others are boycotting the address completely in protest.
Several Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will be accompanied by Dreamers, those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US by their parents as a child, in protest of Trump's immigration stance, while others will be accompanied by victims of sexual assault.
Trump’s much-anticipated first State of the Union address will be delivered on Tuesday evening, January 30.
What do you think of the choice of Congressman Joe Kennedy III as the Democrat's response to the State of the Union? Will we see another Kennedy heading for the Oval Office? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.