On Jan. 22, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump's transgender military ban to go into effectprompting swift critiques from pro-LGBT activists and organizations.
By a vote of five to four, the justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but will allow the ban to proceed while the lower courts work through it.
The ban largely blocks people who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria from serving. It also says that individuals without the condition can servebut only if they do so according to the gender they were assigned at birth.
The Pentagon had allowed transgender applicants to join the military on Jan. 1, 2018, after a federal judge ruled that the military had to allow transgender recruits to join.
"Our military families are incredibly alarmed right now by the court's decision to lift the injunctions that were blocking implementation of the Trump-Pence administration's unconscionable transgender military ban," said American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ) President Ashley Broadway-Mack, spouse of an active duty U.S. Army officer, in a press release. "The thousands of transgender military members and their families serving our nation right now deserve better than this decision, which has compounded the tremendous amount of uncertainty these military families were already facing. Our only hope is that justice will ultimately prevail over blatant bigotry and discrimination when the court hears the full arguments of our case."
In a separate statement, Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin said, "While it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has allowed military discrimination to be reinstated, it's critical to understand that the military is not required, and has no need, to reinstate the transgender ban, which would cause destabilizing whipsaws in personnel policy.
The Defense Department should not reinstate the transgender ban because it would undermine readiness, cause significant disruptions and uncertainty, deprive the military of much-needed talent, and wreak havoc with the lives and careers of the 14,700 transgender troops bravely protecting our nation's security."