In multiple states across the country, legislation is being proposed and has passed in some states that will affect LGBTQ Airmen, Guardians, and/or their LGBTQ dependents in a variety of negative ways.
While no such laws have been passed in North Carolina, one (to date) has been proposed and vetoed. Bordering states of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee all are currently considering multiple proposals, with Tennessee leading the nation. In 2021 Tennessee passed two such laws and in 2022 the state has introduced more anti-queer potential laws than any other state in the country
The Department of the Air Force has assignment, medical, legal and other resources available to support Airmen, Guardians and their families.
“The health, care and resilience of our DAF personnel and their families is not just our top priority – it’s essential to our ability to accomplish the mission,” said Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones. “We are closely tracking state laws and legislation to ensure we prepare for and mitigate effects to our Airmen, Guardians and their families. Medical, legal resources, and various assistance are available for those who need them.”
If service members or their families need help with screening, treatment, or mental health support for medical concerns, they should start with DAF medical treatment facilities, according to DAF officials. The MTFs can also assist with navigating challenging life circumstances.
The Exceptional Family Member Program is another resource available for all active component Airmen and Guardians to assist families with special needs during the PCS process to include navigating medical, legal, and educational support for dependents during relocation.
“As is the case with all of our family members, if the support a family member needs becomes unavailable, commanders can work to get the service member to an assignment where their loved ones can receive the care they need,” Jones added.
Installation legal offices are another free source of information for personnel who need assistance navigating new and existing local laws. While installation legal personnel cannot represent Airmen, Guardians or their families in court, they can provide vital advice and counsel.
Service members and their families can also seek additional support through their local Airman and Family Readiness Center, the Military and Family Life Counseling Program, or Military OneSource, which can be contacted 24/7 at 800-342-9647.
With at least 15 states enacting or considering specifies bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, the U.S. Air Force is adamant they will provide medical, legal, and relocation assistance to all service members and their families who could potentially be harmed by any discriminatory laws.
For additional details on anti-LGBTQ legislation under consideration, go here.