On Tuesday, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against Donald Trump’s ban on openly transgender people serving in the military.
The measure, the second legal block against Trump’s order, will allow trans service members to continue to serve their nation and receive appropriate medical treatment as the fate of the ban is decided in court.
“Today is a victory for transgender service members across the country,” said Joshua Block of the ACLU, which is suing to stop the ban permanently. “We’re pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
But the Trump administration made it clear it plans to fight to make the ban official.
“The president’s directive is legal and promotes our national security,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said. “The Department of Justice will vigorously defend it.”
A Justice Department spokeswoman said “We disagree with the court’s ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps,” but late Tuesday, the DoJ had filed an appeal an earlier ruling against the ban: On October 30, District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction, ordering that the military cannot keep transgender people out of the ranks and that it must continue to provide medical care for them.
Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights says the Trump administration is “digging in its heels” with this appeal. “Thousands of transgender Americans are serving honorably—many with decades-long careers—and are just as willing and capable as any of their peers. This attack on our dedicated service members is not just unconstitutional, it’s a disgrace.”
The Washington Blade reports a district court in Seattle held oral arguments on Tuesday in a separate lawsuit against the ban filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN. Oral arguments in another lawsuit filed by Equality California will be presented on December 11.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon reported that an active-duty service member underwent gender-confirmation surgery. The procedure, performed in a private hospital, was paid for by the military’s health coverage because doctors deemed it medically necessary.