BALTIMORE A federal court today granted the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a complete halt to implementation of the president's directive banning transgender service members from serving in the military while the ACLU's lawsuit challenging it moves forward.
The preliminary injunction stops the president from kicking out transgender people currently serving in the military, from barring the enlistment of transgender individuals, and from prohibiting transition-related surgery for service members.
The ACLU filed its motion for a preliminary injunction in September, arguing that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit further argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.
"Today is a victory for transgender service members across the country," said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project. "We're pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve."
In ruling that the ban likely violates the federal constitution, the court found noted that "A capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified tweet of new policy does not trump the methodical and systematic review by military stakeholders qualified to understand the ramifications of policy changes."
The ACLU's lawsuit was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.
The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Maryland, and Covington & Burling LLP.
The decision can be found here:
From Equality California:
EQUALITY CALIFORNIA COMMENDS THE SECOND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION HALTING TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN
Los AngelesToday, Equality California applauded U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in the District of Maryland as he issued a preliminary injunction in Stone v. Trump, a case brought by the ACLU challenging Trump's transgender military ban. This new ruling affirms the nationwide preliminary injunction issued in Doe v. Trump on October 30.
"Today's ruling is another crucial blow to the Trump Administration's discriminatory ban against transgender service members and those seeking to serve," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. "President Trump's ban violates constitutional protections and causes serious harms both to our nation's military and to transgender Americans. Today's ruling brings us closer to a permanent end."
In Doe v. Trump, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) argued that Trump's ban, first announced in a series of tweets, is irresponsible and discriminatory because qualified and able transgender Americans who wish to enlist have been barred from doing so. They also argue that transgender service members have been demeaned and stigmatized, denied health care, and faced with the prospect of discharge and the loss of their professions, livelihoods, health care, and the post-military retirement they have worked hard to earn. On October 30, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted NCLR and GLAD's motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction.
NCLR and GLAD also are co-counsel in Equality California's suit, Stockman v. Trump, which also challenges the ban. Oral argument in Stockman v. Trump is scheduled for Monday, December 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Equality California is the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org