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

Press Release

Federal Legislation & Policy

NCLR, GLAD Respond to Trump’s Trans Military Ban Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2018
Contacts: 
Lauren Gray, NCLR lgray@nclrights.org / (215) 983-3099
Amanda Johnston, GLAD ajohnston@glad.org / (617) 417-7769

Trump Announces Plan for Implementing His Transgender Military Ban

Today’s announcement has no immediate impact, as four federal courts have already prohibited the ban from taking effect, say NCLR and GLAD, the legal organizations leading the fight against Trump’s ban

WASHINGTON, DCToday the Trump administration released implementation plan details for Trump’s transgender military ban. The plan has no immediate effect, as four federal courts have already issued nationwide preliminary injunctions stopping his ban from moving forward. This plan singles out transgender servicemembers and would result in the loss of highly qualified and trained troops.

“This Trump-Pence plan categorically bans transgender people from service, with no legitimate basis. It requires the discharge of trained, skilled troops who have served honorably for decades. It’s a gross mischaracterization of transgender people, and it’s bad for our military,” said Jennifer Levi, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Transgender Rights Project Director

“This is exactly the discriminatory, categorical ban that four federal courts have already barred from going forward.  This is just the sort of baseless attack on dedicated service members we have come to expect from this administration, and we will continue to fight this shameful ban vigorously in federal court,” said Shannon Minter, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director

President Trump announced his transgender military ban last summer, first via Twitter and then in an August 25 memo to the Secretary of Defense in which he set out March 23, 2018 as the date for full implementation of his ban. Four legal challenges have been brought against the ban, and in each a federal judge has prevented it from moving forward.

Transgender servicemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without issue, and there are currently thousands of transgender servicemembers serving with distinction. Four federal courts have issued preliminary injunctions blocking the ban and ordering the administration to maintain the existing open service policy, including processing new transgender recruits, which began January 1. The Department of Justice dropped its appeals of the four injunctions against the ban in late December, and those injunctions remain in place as legal proceedings continue.

Nearly 50 former military leaders and national security officials—including two former Secretaries of Defense, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the former Director of the National Security Agency— have criticized the ban – conclusively stating there is no basis for it.

To access a copy of the Trump administration announcement on the transgender military ban released today, click here.

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

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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

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 orientation. www.GLAD.org

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