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California Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman released the following statement in reaction to Donald Trump’s announcement banning transgender soldiers from serving:

“First, to all the transgender soldiers who must continue to serve in silence, California Democrats are grateful for your service, and we honor the sacrifices you are making for all of us.

To transgender Californians, and particularly the kids who are wrestling with so many profound questions about their identity and whether they think the world is ready to love them for who they are, we want you to know that you are valued and welcome in our state. Expanding rights and opportunities for transgender Californians is a core value of our party, and we will passionately resist any effort to set back the cause of justice for transgender Californians.

Today’s announcement by Trump — a man who did everything he could to dodge the draft during Vietnam — confirms he is the most cowardly, craven and disgraceful person ever to hold the rank of Commander-in-Chief. I call upon every Californian to call their member of Congress and demand action to reverse this discriminatory and hateful ban and honor those brave transgender Americans who wish to serve.”