A federal court in Seattle denied yet another attempt by the Trump administration to implement a ban on transgender troops in the United States military.
On Friday, 15 June, a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, and joined by Washington State blocked the enforcement of the ban. The latest version of this ban would have barred trans people from enlisting in the military starting January 2018.
In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal and OutServe represented nine individual plaintiffs—six of whom are currently serving in the armed forces, and three who wish to enlist. The lawsuit also included three organizational plaintiffs: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Seattle-based Gender Justice League, and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA). The latter group joined the lawsuit on behalf of their trans members harmed by the ban.
‘Yet again, the Trump Administration has tried to implement and expedite discrimination, and yet again, the court has said no,’ said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn.
‘You would think the administration would get tired of all the losing, and more importantly, would read the writing on the wall and abandon this discriminatory and harmful scheme to prevent brave and qualified transgender people from serving their country.’
‘Tomorrow, I will put on the uniform of U.S. Army and do my duty, as I did today and yesterday, and have done for more than 13 years,’ said Staff Sergeant Cathrine (Katie) Schmid.
‘Being transgender has no impact on my ability to perform my duties. I’m grateful that the court to date has recognized the value in our service, and I look forward to the day when we can put this argument behind us and focus on what’s really important– the accomplishment of our mission, and the welfare of our service members.’
Back in April, a federal judge in the state of Washington also rejected the implementation of the ban.
‘The District Court’s rulings have been consistent and unequivocal: the ban on transgender military service is discrimination, no matter how it’s phrased and no matter the myriad ways the administration has tried to cloak its intent,’ OutServe-SLDN Legal Director Peter Perkowski said.
‘The administration has failed to come up with any post hoc rationale for the president’s ill-conceived tweets of last July that justifies their blatant discriminatory nature, and we are confident it never will.’
The American Medical Association (AMA) has also come out to say there is ‘no medically valid reason’ for banning transgender people from serving in the United States military.
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