Transgender Military Ban Regains Momentum With New Court Ruling

The policy "serves no purpose other than to weaken the military and punish transgender service members."

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court has ruled against transgender service members, lifting the court’s order preventing the Trump administration from enforcing its now-notorious ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.

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“Today’s ruling is a devastating slap in the face to transgender service members who have proved their fitness to serve and their dedication to this country,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, in a press release from GLAD. “We will keep fighting this cruel and irrational policy, which serves no purpose other than to weaken the military and punish transgender service members for their patriotism and service.”

“Today’s decision is based on the absurd idea that forcing transgender people to suppress who they are in order to serve is not a ban,” said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. “It ignores the reality of transgender people’s lives, with devastating consequences, and rests on a complete failure to understand who transgender people are. It is also destabilizing to the military to so dramatically reverse a policy that has been in place for over two years that senior military officials acknowledge has operated with no problems.”

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As NewNowNext previously reported back in December, the Department of Justice Attorney Brinton Lucas argued before the D.C. Circuit Court that if implemented, the latest version of the ban, as recommended by Defense Secretary James Mattis, technically would not be “discharged on the basis of their transgender status,” according to The Daily Beast.

The updated ban, unveiled last year, was intended to differentiate it from the original version, which has been roundly defeated in federal courts. The administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, and bypass the lower courts, which is not routinely done and which advocates suspect is an attempt to prevent information about the policy from coming out during trial.

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