Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Sunday she would "gladly" have transgender individuals serve in the military who meet the qualifications.
In an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation," Ernst — a former Amy National Guard lieutenant colonel — said "we can't waive" the physical requirements for service.
"I support allowing those transgenders that can serve, I believe they should serve," she said. "We do want to make sure that they meet physical requirements . . . That is true across any demographic within our military, making sure that they are physically fit, and they meet the mental standard."
"But I've asked transgenders myself, if you were willing to lay down your life beside mine, I would welcome you into our military," she continued, adding: "If there are transgenders that meet those qualifications, certainly I would gladly have them serve in our United States military."
A memorandum from President Donald Trump last Friday said transgenders with a history of "gender dysphoria" — defined as "those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery" — are disqualified from military service.
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