WASHINGTON, DC—Today marks seven years since the U.S. Department of Defense ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—the military policy that prohibited gay, lesbian, and bisexual servicemembers from open service. National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director Shannon Minter and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi, the attorneys who filed the first lawsuit to stop Trump’s transgender military ban and the first to secure a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the ban while the case is heard in court, issued the following joint statement:

“Seven years ago, our country discarded a baseless and discriminatory policy that forced dedicated and courageous servicemembers into the shadows.

“But under President Trump, we see history repeating itself. The same stigma and false stereotypes used to justify Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are being reprised by the Trump-Pence administration in an attempt to force out 9,000 trained, qualified transgender troops, who are serving honorably at home and overseas.

“To date, every court to hear a case challenging the ban has recognized that these arguments ring hollow and that any servicemember who can meet the standards should be permitted to serve. But the Trump-Pence administration continues to try to push the ban forward.

“Just as we stood with our community during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, we will continue to stand with transgender servicemembers now until Trump’s unconstitutional, discriminatory transgender military ban is relegated to the dustbin of history.”


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

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