Court Agrees with NCLR and GLAD that Ban’s Harms to Transgender Service Members and Those Trying to Enlist Are Severe and Unacceptable
WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and enjoined the transgender military ban, the discriminatory policy challenged in Doe v. Trump, the first case filed against President Trump’s transgender military ban. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), co-counsel in the case, issued the following statement:
“This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members, who are now once again able to serve on equal terms and without the threat of being discharged,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR’s Legal Director. “We are grateful to the court for recognizing the gravity of these issues and putting a stop to this dangerous policy, which has wreaked havoc in the lives of transgender service members and their families.”
“This court saw straight through the smokescreen the government tried to create to hide the bias and prejudice behind Trump’s change in military policy. This clear, powerful ruling confirms that there is no legitimate reason to exclude transgender people from military service,” said Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “Fighting discrimination isn’t easy, and to all the transgender members of the armed forces or those looking to join, I want to say thank you for your courage, not only in fighting for our country, but in fighting for the constitutional values of equality and justice.”
NCLR and GLAD have been at the center of the legal fight challenging Trump’s military ban since filing Doe v. Trump, on August 9 on behalf of five transgender service members. On August 31, NCLR and GLAD filed a motion in Doe asking the court to immediately block the president’s policy and adding two named plaintiffs who have had their plans for a career in military service thwarted by the ban – Regan Kibby, a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and Dylan Kohere, a first-year student at University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut denied participation in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program because of the ban. The two organizations are also co-counsel in a second suit challenging the ban, Stockman v. Trump, brought by Equality California.
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.
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.
[From a News Release]