Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s Anti-Transgender Military BanBy Adam Polaski • October 30, 2017 • 1:14 pm
Today a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in Doe v. Trump, a case filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) challenging the constitutionality of the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender service members in the military, temporarily halting the ban. This ruling is definitely a positive step forward.
According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the decision means that their plaintiffs and all other transgender servicemembers are able to serve on equal terms, without a looming threat of being discharged. The powerful ruling underscores what so many Americans have been saying for years – that there is no reason to deny equal treatment to qualified transgender servicemembers. NCLR reports that because of this order, transgender people will be able to enlist openly beginning January 1, 2018.
NCLR and GLAD are representing several service members who came out as transgender to their commanding officers following the Defense Department’s 2016 announcement that transgender people can openly serve in the military, and who now risk being discharged.
Many high-ranking former military leaders have announced their support of open transgender service, including all three former Service Secretaries (Army, Navy, and Air Force), the former Deputy Surgeon General for Mobilization, Readiness, and Army Reserve Affairs, and the former Acting Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness.
Trump initially announced the ban in July 2017 in a now infamous string of tweets, to the dismay of military leaders, elected officials, veterans and Americans across the board. It was only one of a series of actions that have targeted the LGBTQ community.
In July transgender veteran Kimberly Acoff reacted to news of the disturbing policy change my telling a local news station in no uncertain terms:
“That’s not what this country is all about. We’re about giving an opportunity – not taking it away and stripping people of it.”