Victory for Transgender military members
Protesters gathered in front of the White House in July after President Trump announced that transgender people may not serve “in any capacity” in the United States military. PHOTO CREDIT: Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse Getty Images via NY Times
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled to block the recent ban on transgender military members. Back in July, President Trump had announced via Twitter that U.S. armed forces could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender troops, and said “the United States Government will not accept or allow them to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” These tweets were followed by a presidential memorandum in August that required all transgender service members to be discharged starting in March 2018.
When this memorandum was released, many transgender military members sued the government for discrimination. Yesterday’s ruling was in response to one particular case of five transgender women serving in the Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force. These women had served for years as men, fought in war zones, all before coming out to commanders when the transgender ban was lifted in 2016.
The federal judge said the memorandum violated the Constitution and she had to rule against it. This ruling essentially stops the former plan to discharge all transgender troops, allows current transgender troops to re-enlist and permits transgender recruits to join the military starting in January.
“Big, huge news today. A lot of people’s lives were put on hold. They thought their careers were ending. This means we can continue to serve with honor, as we have been doing.” ~ Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann, a Navy supply corps officer who is transgender.