Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Press Release

Federal Legislation & Policy

NCLR, GLAD Filing: Court can permanently stop trans military ban now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 22, 2018

Contacts: 

Lauren Gray, NCLR lgray@nclrights.org / (215) 983-3099

Amanda Johnston, GLAD ajohnston@glad.org / (617) 417-7769

NCLR and GLAD Filing Argues the Court Should Permanently Stop the Trump-Pence Ban Now

WASHINGTON, D.C.The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) today filed their reply in support of their Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment in Doe v. Trump—the first lawsuit filed to stop the Trump-Pence transgender military ban. If Judge Kollar-Kotelly rules in favor of the plaintiffs, that decision would permanently block the Trump-Pence transgender military ban from ever taking effect. Today’s filing rebuts the administration’s attempt to “blinker reality and recast the Mattis Plan as something other than what it plainly is: a blueprint to ensure that no transgender individuals serve in our Nation’s Armed Forces ‘in any capacity.’”  The plaintiffs’ reply is the last in a series of filings that must occur before Judge Kollar-Kotelly determines whether she can issue a permanent ruling blocking the ban.

The Doe plaintiffs argue that the Trump-Pence transgender military ban singles out transgender Americans—putting them into a solitary class and subjecting them to different standards than every other servicemember—on no legitimate basis. And because policies that discriminate against transgender people require heightened scrutiny by the court, plaintiffs argue that the Trump administration cannot scramble to invent reasoning now, after the ban has been issued, in an attempt to justify the ban during litigation.

“There is no legitimate justification for barring transgender people from military service based on who they are, rather than their ability to do the job. The government cannot make up reasons after the fact to justify a policy that is based on prejudice, not genuine military concerns,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director.

“This filing brings us one step closer to a final resolution of this case. Transgender servicemembers have continued to put their lives on the line for this country while having to defend themselves from attack from this administration. They deserve honor and respect, not discharge papers,” said Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director.

BACKGROUND

June 30, 2016: The United States Department of Defense (DOD) adopted a policy permitting transgender people to serve in the military based on a nearly two year DOD review determining that there was no valid reason to exclude qualified personnel from military service simply because they are transgender.

July 26, 2017: President Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

August 9, 2017: NCLR and GLAD filed Doe v. Trump, the first lawsuit filed to stop the ban, challenging its constitutionality and requesting that the court issue a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop it from taking effect while the case is being heard in court.

August 25, 2017: President Trump issued a memorandum ordering Secretary of Defense James Mattis to submit “a plan for implementing” the ban by February 21, 2018. Secretary Mattis delivered this (the “Mattis Plan” and panel report) to President Trump on February 22, 2018.

October 30, 2017: The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Doe v. Trump plaintiffs had established a likelihood of success on their claim that President Trump’s ban violates equal protection, that plaintiffs would be irreparably harmed without a preliminary injunction to stop the ban, and that the public interest and balance of hardships weighed in favor of granting injunctive relief and temporarily halting the ban while the case is heard by the court.

March 23, 2018: President Trump accepts the “Mattis Plan” and issues a memorandum in which he “revoked” his August 25 Memorandum.

April 20, 2018: Defendants file a motion to dissolve the October 30 nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the transgender military ban issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint; and a Motion for Summary Judgment.

May 11, 2018: Plaintiffs file their cross-motion for summary judgment, as well as motions in opposition to Defendant’s motions to dissolve the injunction and dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint.

NCLR and GLAD have been at the center of the legal fight challenging the Trump-Pence transgender military ban since filing Doe v. Trump, the first of four cases filed against the ban, on August 9, 2017.

 

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Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientationwww.GLAD.org

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org

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