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GLAD, NCLR on DOD Plan to Implement Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

Move by Trump Administration Violates Court Orders While Injunction in One Lawsuit Against the Ban Remains in Place

Washington, D.C. – GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) released the following statements in response to the Department of Defense’s release today of guidelines for implementing the ban on transgender military service:

Jennifer Levi, GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project director said: “Not only does the Trump-Pence transgender military ban violate the Constitution, but now the administration is also defying a court order. With brazen disregard for the judicial process, the Pentagon is prematurely and illegally rolling out a plan to implement the ban when a court injunction remains in place prohibiting them from doing so.

“In addition to being unlawful, moving forward with this ban is also deeply immoral and deeply insulting to the many transgender troops who are bravely serving their country. If permitted to go into effect, this ban will deprive our military of highly trained and skilled service members, weaken military readiness, and harm national security. Military leaders, medical experts, and the vast majority of the American public agree that our troops deserve gratitude and support, not a slap in the face based on bias and irrational fears.”

“We will continue our fight in the courts until the ban is permanently blocked, said Shannon Minter, NCLR legal director. “We also strongly support the bipartisan efforts of Congressional leaders to pass urgently needed legislation to protect transgender troops. We urge everyone who cares about the integrity of our military and the wellbeing of our troops to contact your representatives and tell them to support this legislation.”

Today’s announcement from DOD disregards the injunction issued by a federal district court in Doe v. Trump, which remains in effect. On January 4, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion vacating the injunction, but specifically holding that its decision would not become final until plaintiffs have an opportunity to seek rehearing by the entire D.C. Circuit, and until any such petition for rehearing is resolved.   Therefore, the district court’s nationwide injunction prohibiting enforcement of the ban remains in effect and any move by the government to enforce the ban before that time is in violation of a federal court order.

Earlier today, GLAD and NCLR filed a brief in the D.C. district court opposing the administration’s stated intention to moving forward with implementing the ban.

For more information on the legal timeline and status of the Trump-Pence transgender military ban, please visit notransmilitaryban.org.