Federal judge blocks Trump's trans military ban

Trevor Jackson
October 31, 2017

A federal court has blocked President Trump in part from changing the military's transgender policy as a case against his ban works its way through court.

Trump had ordered a reinstatement of the longstanding policy that barred transgender individuals from joining the military; service members who were revealed to be transgender were subject to discharge.

In August, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced a freeze to the policy change, pending the results of a study by experts.

She did not rule on another section of the directive that banned using military resources to pay for sex reassignment surgeries.

In August, Trump said he planned to reverse a 2016 policy, which allowed trans troops to serve openly in the USA military.

The government asked the case to be dismissed while the six-month review was still going on, but was denied by Kollar-Kotelly on the basis that the decision to ban the troops had already been made. "They are now able to serve on equal terms with everyone else". The decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia means that people who are now in the military can not be discharged "just for being transgender", she says.

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In response to Trump's memo at the time, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a motion for preliminary injunction to put a halt on the ban, which Kollar-Kotelly issued this morning. "There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all", she wrote.

Kollar-Kotelly said the plaintiffs clearly established that they would be harmed by the administration's directives. "In all other respects, the Presidential Memorandum is not enjoined", the judge wrote in her 76-page decision.

The lawsuit against the president's order was filed by five transgender service members in August, citing the uncertainty that surrounded their future careers.

"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.

Under his proposal, transgender recruits would be banned from the military, medical treatment funding for current transgender troops would be completely cut off, and Defense Secretary James Mattis would have power to expel transgender service members.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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