(CNSNews.com) - Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R.-Ariz.) is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D.-N.Y.), Sen. Susan Collins (R.-Maine) and Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.) to prevent the U.S. military from removing transgenders from the service or preventing them from re-enlisting.
Transgenders are people who are genetically one sex but say they identify as the other sex.
Gillibrand put out a press release on Friday announcing the legislation after gicing a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday in which she expressed her gratitude to McCain for joining her on the issue.
The bill, Gillibrand's press release explained, "would protecxt transgender service members by preventing the Department of Defense from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Transgender troops have been openly serving in the military since June 2016."
Gillibrand's release included a quote from co-sponsor McCain explaining this support for the move.
"When less than one percent of Americans are volunteering to join the military, we should welcome all those who are willing and able to serve our country," said McCain.
"Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve--including those who are transgender," McCain said. "The Senate Armed Services Committee will review the results of the DOD study on accession and will continue to work closely with our military leaders on any policy changes as we conduct oversight on this important issue."
Gillibrand expressed her gratitude for McCain's support on the Senate floor.
"I want to thank my dear friend and colleague, Senator McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and his staff for working with us on this bipartisan amendment to protect transgender servicemembers and for agreeing to support it here on the floor today," Gillibrand said.
"I urge my colleagues to join me, the Republican Senator from Maine, and Senator John McCain, on our bipartisan agreement to allow transgendera men and women to stay in the military and continue to serve our country and keep us safe," Gillibrand said.