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Gillian Branstetter, Media Relations Manager
October 30, 2017

Court Blocks Trans Military Ban in Yet Another Setback for the Discrimination Administration

In yet another blow to the Trump administration’s campaign of discrimination against transgender Americans, a federal court today temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s dangerous and disrespectful Twitter-based ban on transgender military service members.

The ruling in Doe v. Trump concluded that the ban appeared to be based on little more than prejudice, saying 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,” and that “there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects.” The ruling also followed other recent court decisions in recognizing that government discrimination against transgender people is subject to heightened scrutiny by courts.

NCTE recently led a coalition of transgender organizations from around the country in filing an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the military ban is part of a wider pattern of discrimination against transgender people by the Trump administration. 

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling issued the following statement:

Again and again, our courts have been forced to step in and halt this administration’s unconstitutional and dangerous bigotry. As today’s ruling makes clear, this ban was never about military readiness—just like President Trump’s Muslim bans have never been about national security. This ban is about discrimination, plain and simple. We are grateful that the plaintiffs and thousands of other troops will be able to continue serving without the threat of discharge while this case proceeds. Unfortunately, this ruling is not the end of the story, and these troops and their units will still face uncertainty unless Congress acts to end this ban for good.

Lawmakers in both major parties have denounced the ban, and bipartisan bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to end it. Though backed by both the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate leaders blocked a vote to add a measure that would have ended the ban to the pending national defense authorization bill.

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