Trump's Transgender Military Ban Just Hit a Major Wall

Transgender Ban
Photo: Photo Illustration. Photo: YURI DYACHYSHYN/Getty Images

Another day, another round of political chaos. But this time, the news coming out of Washington, D.C., is positive—and it’s giving LGBTQ people across the nation a sliver of hope in troubling and uncertain times.

Back in July, President Donald Trump issued an abrupt directive to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the U.S. military. It was reported that the White House gave the military six months to put the new rule into effect, preventing any new trans members from being admitted as well as stopping all trans-related medical care for soldiers currently in service. The ban was set to take effect in March 2018, but as of yesterday, it officially hit a wall.

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On Monday, a federal judge partially blocked the enforcement of key provisions of Trump’s memorandum, which was issued on August 25. In her 76-page ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly found that the plaintiffs, a group of transgender women serving in the Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force “have established that they will be injured by these directives, due both to the inherent inequality they impose, and the risk of discharge and denial of accession that they engender.”

Additionally, Kollar-Kotelly stated that “there is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all.” She continued, “In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects.”

Kollar-Kotelly was clear that her goal is to “revert to the status quo” that was in place prior to Trump’s directive, which was first announced to the public via a series of Tweets. The fact that the President took to social media to deliver a message about such a serious political matter was yet another issue that the judge took to task. She called Trump out for suddenly presenting the ban “without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes that will gravely affect the lives of many Americans.”

The judge partially granted a preliminary injunction, pending appeal. She noted that the plaintiffs in the case are “likely to succeed” in their due process claims. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has issued a statement of its own in response to the blocked ban. “We disagree with the court’s ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps,” said spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam.

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