The LGBTQ community was rocked last year when Donald Trump announced that he would be banning transgender people from serving in the US military. Since then, judges have blocked the policy’s implementation, and even the Pentagon has gone against it.
And now a new legal challenge could finally kill off the hateful policy once and for all.
Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN have asked a federal district court to block the enforcement of the policy permanently, and are hoping for a speedy resolution.
The case represents nine individual plaintiffs, and three organisational plaintiffs. The three organisations represented are the Human Rights Campaign, the Gender Justice League — which is based in Seattle — and the American Partner Military Association. All of them joined on behalf of their transgender members.
The Senior Attorney for Lambda Legal, Peter Renn said: “Every single federal court to look at President Trump’s policy has already found that it reeks of undisguised and unlawful discrimination against qualified transgender people willing and able to serve our country, and it’s time to put the nail in the coffin for that policy.
“The facts are in and the court has what it needs to finally return this bigoted policy back to the dustbin of history, where it has always belonged. Every day that this clearly illegal ban lingers perpetuates harm to patriotic Americans who wish only to serve the country they love.”
One of the plaintiffs, Megan Winters, who has served in the US Office of Naval Intelligence for the past five years said: “Without a court ruling, the possibility of being shoved back into the closet hangs over my head and every transgender service member’s head every day.
“It is impossible to overstate how damaging that uncertainty is to morale and military readiness.”
The Legal Director for Outserve-SLDN, Peter Perkowski said: “The policy excluding transgender people from serving openly in the armed forced has never had a rational justification, still doesn’t and never will.
“There is no need for a trial to establish that. This motion asks the Court once and for all to put a permanent top to a policy so clearly damaging to this nation’s military readiness.”