U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice John, D-Tx:

“During tonight’s State of the Union address, when past presidents have announced bold policies to make life better for Americans all across the country, President Trump made little mention of the issues that affect Americans most. The president instead delivered a speech filled with comments that degraded the values of our country and demeaned the very immigrants who offer their skills and talents in order to help our country excel and prosper. While the president called for unity, his presidency has shown us that his actions will unfortunately seek to divide us.

“Since Democrats took over the majority in the House of Representatives amid the president’s record-breaking government shutdown, we have been relentless in our pursuit of health care reforms that increase access to health care and make it more affordable. We have pushed for economic policies that raise the minimum wage and reward working Americans for their hard labor. We’ve also pushed forward the discussion of improving our nation’s infrastructure. We are determined to introduce a plan that will rebuild our roads and bridges and create thousands of jobs to boost our economy. We hope the president will offer his support and join us in this endeavor.

“This is what the American people have called on their government to achieve for the people. Americans, in spite of whatever challenges they face, still maintain the strong and resilient spirit that represents the best of our nation. It is our civic duty to match their determination with our best efforts to make their lives and this country better. And despite the president’s history giving us little indication that he will respond to this call from the American people, Democrats remain determined to lead the charge for a better, more united nation.”

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Andy Blevins:

“For the past two-and-a-half years, thousands of qualified, transgender individuals have been serving openly and our nation’s military services are better not in spite of their authentic service, but because of it. The Trump-Pence administration’s indefensible desire to institute their discriminatory practices is disappointing; our siblings-in-arms deserve better. We look forward to continuing our representation of these proud and selfless patriots and to ensuring that baseless and discriminatory rationalizations not be allowed to define military policy.”

OutServe-SLDN Legal & Policy Director Peter Perkowski:

“Stopping the spread of HIV is a worthy and achievable goal, but it requires more than just words. It requires a true commitment to the humanity of people living with HIV and those at risk for contracting it. We have not seen that commitment from the Trump-Pence administration. Service members, veterans and their families instead have faced policies that have placed them more at risk: involuntary discharges based on HIV status, restrictions on access to PrEP, and regulations that criminalize their status and behavior, all of which interfere with health access and run contrary to ending the epidemic. If the Trump-Pence administration were truly committed to the health and lives of people living with and at risk for HIV, it would entirely revamp DoD and VA policies related to HIV, in addition re re-committing to federal dollars to HIV prevention and treatment.”

American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack:

“Right now, thousands of highly-trained, patriotic transgender Americans are bravely and honorably serving our nation around the world in every branch of the military. The shameful steps Donald Trump and Mike Pence have undertaken in order to erase them and ban them from military service are truly unconscionable. Like the far majority of Americans, we believe any qualified American should be able to serve, and AMPA is proud to be an organizational plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Trump’s trans military ban in court.”

SPARTA Communications Director Bryan Bree Fram:

“Given the tremendous capability trans service members have shown since the implementation of open service, and the overwhelming medical and scientific evidence that shows no reasons why transgender people should be unable to serve, we remain steadfast that transgender people will continue to contribute to our military long into the future.”