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Contact: Michael Avitzur
Director of Government Relations

Statement from BBA President Carol Starkey on the President's Ban on Transgender Troops in the Military

As an association of lawyers with more than 12,000 members, the Boston Bar Association has long stood in opposition to discrimination in all forms against individuals and groups in our society. In that light, we are deeply concerned by the President’s announcement yesterday that attempts to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military alongside their fellow Americans, thus overturning current policies and practice.

The BBA has a time-honored tradition of speaking out in support of equal protection and policies that help to ensure equality for all Americans. We have consistently endorsed equal rights for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and we applauded in 2011 when Massachusetts first added such protections to our anti-discrimination laws, and again in 2016, when those protections were expanded. 

We believe, further, that anyone willing and able to serve our country in uniform should be welcomed, respected, and honored. In keeping with the core principles deeply embedded in the BBA’s mission, our profession, and our democracy, it is essential that all individuals seeking this important opportunity receive equal treatment under the law.


The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.