BOSTON - Even with growing opposition from even his own party, President Donald Trump has pushed forward with his ban of transgender soldiers from serving in the United States military. And despite resistance in local and state governments as well as the legislative branch, the ban was upheld by a United States appeals court back in June. In spite of this, the Massachusetts National Guard has already advanced towards taking the necessary steps to insure that such gender-based oppression does not take hold in the state.

Thomas Turco, the Public Safety Secretary, with the backing of Governor Charlie Baker and his administration, sent a letter to state legislators last Tuesday making it clear that transgender troops are still welcome to serve in the Massachusetts National Guard, a decision that comes in direct opposition to what Trump is trying to instigate at the federal level.

The letter from Turco reads as follows:

“The Massachusetts National Guard and the Baker-Polito Administration will continue to support transgender Soldiers and Airmen in serving our Commonwealth with dignity and respect. The Massachusetts National Guard served the interests of the Commonwealth and the Nation best with a military force that recruits and retains the most qualified people without regard to race, gender, color, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, or gender identity.”

Not only is this the smart decision, but it is also the moral one. Even in the face of such overwhelmingly abhorrent decisions from the federal government, I definitely feel like it is reassuring to see some states pushing back against it and I am certainly proud that Massachusetts is one of these states. Hopefully, we have not heard the last of the resistance to this decision from the executive branch.