Federal Court halts President Trump’s trans military banAround the Nation, Breaking News, Top Highlights Monday, October 30th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal court in Washington today blocked the Trump administration from implementing the president’s directive banning transgender service members from continuing to serve in the military. This preliminary injunction will prevent the ban from going into effect during the time it takes to hear and decide the case Doe V. Trump, a challenge to Trump policy brought forward by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its own challenge to the ban in Maryland. Oral arguments on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt the ban remain scheduled for November 9 in Baltimore.
“This is the first decision striking down President Trump’s ban, but it won’t be the last. The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban on transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “As all of these cases move forward, we will continue to work to ensure that transgender service members are treated with the equal treatment they deserve.”
The ACLU’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.
The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Maryland, and Covington & Burling LLP.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.
“The U.S. District Court’s temporary halt of the trans military ban is a major step forward in exposing President Trump’s policy as a hate-fueled attack on some of the bravest Americans who serve and protect our nation,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Today’s victory reflects what a majority of Americans have been saying: that transgender service members should be thanked and not relegated to second-class citizenship.”
In late August, President Trump officially directed the Pentagon to move forward with this discriminatory policy due to take effect on March 23, 2018. This purge of skilled and qualified military personnel runs counter to the support of the majority of Americans in all fifty states who believe transgender people should be allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military.
Trump’s policy to ban transgender soldiers from openly serving in any capacity with the U.S. military summarizes the full-scale attack on LGBTQ Americans by the Trump Administration. Since President Trump’s inauguration, the administration has stopped at nothing to erase LGBTQ acceptance from the federal government. This includes appointing the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory, deleting any mention of “LGBTQ” from government websites, and rescinding guidance that protects transgender students at their schools. GLAAD has cataloged every anti-LGBTQ action by the Trump Administration under its Trump Accountability Project.
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