2017-OCT to DEC.
Trans Persons in Military:
Court injuctions against
Pres. Trump's Transgender ban.
Enlistees able to apply, in theory.
Image by Maiconfz. Downloaded from Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons
2017-OCT-30: A Federal District Judge issues injunction against President Trump's transgender directive. Reactions:
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, determined that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit raised by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) during August are likely to succeed. She issued a temporary injunction against President Trump's directive so that it cannot cannot be enforced while the case is being heard in court. She wrote:
"As a form of government that classifies people based on their gender identity, and disfavors a class of persecuted and politically powerless individuals, the President’s directives are subject to a fairly searching form of scrutiny. ... The court finds that a number of factors -- including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious."
She noted that while the government’s arguments for dismissal of the request for an injunction are:
"... perhaps compelling in the abstract, [they] wither away under scrutiny. ... The memorandum unequivocally directs the military to prohibit indefinitely the accession of transgender individuals and to authorize their discharge. This decision has already been made. These directives must be executed by a date certain, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be executed. Plaintiffs 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."
Referring to the military's 2016 study which led to allowing transgender persons to serve in the military, she said that the government's argument for the transgender ban:
"... appear to be hypothetical and extremely over broad. ... As far as the court is aware at this preliminary stage, all of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military in this case were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself."
Shannon Minter, NCLR’s legal director, issued a statement, saying:
"This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members, who are now once again able to serve on equal terms and without the threat of being discharged."
Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s transgender rights project, issued a statement, saying:
"This court saw straight through the smokescreen the government tried to create to hide the bias and prejudice behind Trump’s change in military policy. This clear, powerful ruling confirms that there is no legitimate reason to exclude transgender people from military service. ... The President abruptly announced [the ruling], via Twitter -- 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 -- that all transgender individuals would be precluded from participating in the military in any capacity. These circumstances provide additional support for plaintiffs’ claim that the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy."
However, it wasn't a complete victory for transgender equality, because Judge Kollar-Kotelly left the ban on funding gender reassignment surgery intact.
Tony Perkins, who heads the conservative Family Research Center, said:
"This is where judicial activism is leading us. The courts have moved beyond legislating on the invented rights of abortion and same-sex marriage to clearly usurping the constitutional authority of the executive branch. The president has the primary task of protecting Americans, but we see the courts weakening his immigration policies designed to protect America from threats and now telling the commander-in-chief how to run the military." 27
2017-NOV: A second federal judge issues injunction against President Trump's transgender directive:
U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis of Baltimore, MD issued a second injunction against President Trump's ban on transgender military personnel. This was in response to a motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of six transgender plaintiffs. He noted that the plaintiffs had:
"... demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences. ... the cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments. ... 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 change." 12
Lauren Ehrsam, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice responded to the injunction, saying:
"(The) plaintiffs' lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the President ordered, and because none of the plaintiffs have established that they will be impacted by current policies on military service." 12
Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN have filed a third lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, WA. 13
2017-DEC-11: Department of Defense announces transgender individuals can apply to enlist starting on 2018-JAN-01:
The Department of Justice asked federal U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington to lift part of her OCT-30 injunction. She had ruled that President Trump's ban on transgender service members is likely unconstitutional. That is because it appears to violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees due process and equal protection under the law for all citizens. Her injunction had temporarily halted President Trump's ban on transgender applicants to the military from taking effect until sometime in the future when the case is fully resolved by the courts.
The Department argued that to start enlisting transgender service members on JAN-01 would be problematic. Applicants would have to be disqualified from enlisting if they had had sex confirmation or genital reconstruction survey within the previous 18 months, unless a medical provider had certified that no complications persisted and additional surgeries were not required. Apparently, it would be too difficult to train tens of thousands of Defense Department recruiting personnel in time, to administer this requirement.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected the Defense Department's argument. She said:
"The directive from the Secretary of Defense requiring the military to prepare to begin allowing accession of transgender individuals was issued on June 30, 2016 - nearly one and a half years ago." 14
The White House said that they and the Department of Justice were reviewing their options. The Department of Defense announced that transgender individuals will be able to apply on and after JAN-01.
Meanwhile, another federal judge in Seattle, WA also ordered that the President's ban be terminated.
Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, issued a statement saying that:
The military has studied this issue extensively and determined that permitting qualified transgender people to enlist and serve will only strengthen our nation's armed forces. This administration's claim that allowing transgender people to enlist will lessen military preparedness is contradicted by the military's own conclusions." 15
Previous articles in this series on transgender persons in the U.S. military:
Part 1: 2011/2012: Overview. Support. Current military policies. Care for veterans.
Part 2: 2016: Previous ends to discrimination by the military. Pentagon announces an end to discrimination against transgender members. Negative reactions.
Part 3: 2016: More negative reactions to the ending of discrimination. Positive reactions.
Part 4: 2016: President Trump's ban on transgender persons in the military.
Part 5: 2017: Trump bans transgender military service members via tweets. Federal court blocks the move.
Part 6: 2017-JUL/AUG: Impact on Trump's Ban of Transgender Military Service members.
Public opinion polls.
Part 7: 2017-AUG: Trans Persons in Military: Trump's restores Ban of
Military Transgender Persons. Lawsuits filed. Gen. Mattis responds.
Extra Cost of Transgender Members.
Part 9: 2018-JAN/MAR : Enlistees
his Transgender ban.
Part 10: 2018-APR to 2019-JAN: Medical groups criticize the ban.
Father's Day. Billboard battle
Part 11: Anti-Trump Light Show. Trump loses at District Court
level, asks to bypass Courts of Appeal and go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. High Court activates ban.
A helpful list:
The Toronto Star has a list of false claims made by President Trump. At the end of his first six months in office, the list totals 447 false claims. They average 2.4 per day. At this rate he will accumulate over 3,500 false claims by the end of his first term in office. Daniel Dale, writing for the Star, commented:
"... Trump has proven uniquely willing to lie, exaggerate and mislead. By all expert accounts, he is more frequently inaccurate than any of his predecessors." 16
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Gordon Lubold, "White House Sets Rules for Military Transgender Ban," The Wall Street Journal, 2017-AUG-23, at: https://www.wsj.com/
- Merrit Kennedy, "2 Lawsuits Challenge Trump's Ban On Transgender Military Service," NPR, 2017-AUG-28, at: http://www.npr.org/
- "ACLU sues Trump over transgender military ban," Associated Press, 2017-AUG-28, at: http://www.latimes.com/
- "ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Transgender Service Member Ban," ACLU, 2017-AUG-28, at: https://www.aclu.org/
- "HRC Represented By Lambda Legal & OutServe-SLDN in Lawsuit Against Trump’s Trans Military Ban," Human Rights Campaign, 2017-AUG-28, at: https://www.hrc.org/
- Tom Vanden Brook, "Mattis freezes transgender policy; allows troops to continue serving, pending study," USA Today, 2017-AUG-29, at: https://www.usatoday.com/
- Carlos Garcia, "Defense Secretary Mattis halts Trump’s transgender ban until this happens." The Blaze, 2017-AUG-29, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
- Claire Chretien, " 'Judicial activism': Judge blocks Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military," Life Site News, 2017-OCT-31, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
- "Intelligence Files: Family Research Council," Southern Poverty Law Center, 2013, at: http://www.splcenter.org/
- "Intelligence Report, "18 anti-gay groups and their propaganda," Southern Poverty Law Center, Winter 2010, Issue #140, at: http://www.splcenter.org
- Peter Sprigg, "Transgender Policy Could Cost Military Billions Over Ten Years," Family Research Council, 2017-JUL, at: http://www.frc.org/
- Lisa Bourne, "Federal judge blasts Trump’s transgender military ban: ‘capricious, arbitrary’," Life Site News, 2017-NOV-23, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
- Hana Kim, "Suit filed in federal court in Seattle against Trump’s transgender military ban," Fox News, 2017-AUG-28, at: http://q13fox.com/
- Andrew Chung & Idrees Ali, "U.S. military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1, judge rules," Reuters, 2017-DEC-11 at: https://www.reuters.com/
- Tom Strode, "Transgenders to enlist as Trump appeal continues," Baptist Press, 2017-DEC-12, at: http://bpnews.net/
- Daniel Dale, "Donald Trump just had his most dishonest week as president: 7 days, 34 false claims," Toronto Star, 2017-JUL-27, at: https://www.thestar.com/
- Chris Kenning, "Transgender U.S. military recruits enlist amid uncertainty," Reuters, 2018-JAN-14, at: https://www.reuters.com
- Carlos Garcia, "Trump issues major decision on transgender members in the military," The Blaze, 2018-MAR-23, at: https://www.theblaze.com/
- Ranna Parekh, "What Is Gender Dysphoria?," American Psychiatric Association, 2016-FEB, at: https://www.psychiatry.org/
- Nanci Pelosi, Twitter text, 2018-MAR-23, at: https://twitter.com/
- David S. Cloud
& David G. Savage "Trump order would ban most transgender troops from serving, setting stage for court battle," LA Times, 2018-MAR-24, at: http://www.latimes.com/
- Jana Pruet, "AMA claims there’s ‘no medically valid reason’ to exclude transgender people from military service," The Blaze, 2018-APR-04, at: https://www.theblaze.com/
- "APA Statement Regarding Transgender Individuals Serving in Military," American Psychological Association, 2018-MAR-26, at: http://www.apa.org/
- "APA Opposes Banning Transgender Service Members from Serving in Military," 2017-JUL-27, at: https://www.psychiatry.org/
- Alex Bollinger, "A Republican put up a hateful anti-trans billboard. So neighbors fought back with love," LGBTQ Nation, 2018-NOV-19, at: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/
- Alex Bollinger, "Trans activists projected a message to Donald Trump onto his DC hotel last night," LGBTQ Nation, 2018-NOV-20, at: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/
- 8 Claire Chretien, " 'Judicial activism': Judge blocks Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military," Life Site News, 2017-OCT-31, at: https://www.lifesitenews.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2017 & 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update : 2018-JUN-17, Father's Day
Author: B.A. Robinson