Today, HRC released the following statement following President Obama’s decision to commute a large portion of Private (Pvt.) Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence.
“President Obama has a strong record regarding the humane treatment of prisoners and a long commitment to LGBTQ equality,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “The decision to commute Pvt. Chelsea Manning’s remaining sentence – after she served nearly 7 years for her crimes – reflects that record. We hope Pvt. Manning soon can access the care and treatment that she, and every transgender person, deserves.”
With this decision, Pvt. Manning will be released in May of this year. As Pvt. Manning serves the remainder of her sentence, she deserves the same thing that any incarcerated person does – appropriate and competent medical care and protection from discrimination and violence. The care she receives should be something that she and her doctors – including professionals who understand transgender care – agree is best for her. There is a clear legal consensus that it is the government’s responsibility to provide medically necessary care for transgender people and the military has an obligation to follow those guidelines.