Saturday, June 10, 2023

U.S. Supreme Court Revives Trump Military Transgender Ban

Earlier today in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to lift Obama-era injunctions that will allow for the implementation of the Trump Administration’s ban on military service by transgender persons that would allow for discharging openly transgender troops and deny transgender people the opportunity to enlist.

The preliminary rulings include one brought in a lawsuit by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN that was joined by the State of Washington challenging the constitutionality of the proposed ban.

“The Supreme Court’s decisions today are perplexing to say the least: on the one hand denying the Trump administration’s premature request for review of lower court rulings before appellate courts have ruled and rebuffing the administration’s attempt to skirt established rules; and yet on the other allowing the administration to begin to discriminate, at least for now, as the litigation plays out,” Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn said in a statement.

“For more than 30 months, transgender troops have been serving our country openly with valor and distinction, but now the rug has been ripped out from under them, once again. We will redouble our efforts to send this discriminatory ban to the trash heap of history where it belongs,” continued Renn.

An estimated 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the military and the Court’s actions today puts their careers into question, causing ripple effects throughout the military including the thousands of teams that rely on these highly-trained service members.

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, gave the following response:“The Court’s extraordinary action today puts the honorable service of thousands of troops and military readiness on the line. The military sets a core standard of unity and acceptance for American society, with implications extending far past military bases and recruitment offices, and that is the goal of the Trump-Pence administration. Today’s action is an attack on transgender people around the nation. President Trump’s attempts to defend this ban are as farcical as ever and only serve to defame thousands of transgender troops.”

In Hampton Roads, reaction to the court ruling came as a bit of a surprise for Norfolk resident Zain Welsh, a trans man active in the community. He said that his friends in the military are still sorting out what this ruling means and that “their jobs as of right now is not in jeapordy, but their medical treatment…in regards to hormones and medical treatment of that nature is turned off.”

At time of publishing, it is still unclear whether or not service members serving before the policy was proposed will be grandfathered in, if there will be mass discharges or what will happen to the healthcare of transgender service members.

We are following this story closely and will publish updates as they emerge.

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