National equality organizations are suiting up following Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision granting the Trump administration’s request to begin implementing its ban on military service by transgender people.

 

While the 5-4 ruling temporarily reinstates the ban, several lawsuits in lower courts are still pending and SCOTUS will likely revisit the case.


Further, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, the injunction they secured in their legal challenge remains in place, so the ban, for the moment, is still blocked from going into effect until that injunction is lifted.


Current and retired senior leaders across all four military branches have condemned the controversial ban, which Trump announced via tweet in 2017, along with members of both parties in the U.S. House and Senate.


An estimated 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the military.


“The Court’s extraordinary action today puts the honorable service of thousands of troops and military readiness on the line. The military sets a core standard of unity and acceptance for American society, with implications extending far past military bases and recruitment offices, and that is the goal of the Trump-Pence administration. Today’s action is an attack on transgender people around the nation. President Trump’s attempts to defend this ban are as farcical as ever and only serve to defame thousands of transgender troops. It is more important than ever for Congress to act immediately to defend thousands of brave and honorable transgender service members from this thoughtlessly destructive President.”


- Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality

 

"Allowing Donald Trump and Mike Pence's transgender troop ban to go into effect harms both transgender service members and our national security. As this critical matter makes its way through the courts, brave transgender patriots deserve to have their constitutional rights protected. Today's decision thrusts this administration’s discriminatory agenda onto a military that clearly doesn't want it, and does so at the expense of transgender people's careers and service - and we remain committed to fighting for all transgender troops and thank Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their tireless work representing us in this case."


- Sarah McBride, Human Rights Campaign National Press Secretary

 

“Prejudice is not patriotism. Discrimination is not a national security strategy. This ban is nothing more than bigotry codified into law and an insult to all who have worn our nation’s uniform. Not only does it go against our values as Americans, it also makes us less safe.


“Democrats believe diversity is our nation’s strength. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter who you love or how you identify. The brave service members who defend our freedoms should be able live freely. And we will keep fighting for the transgender community and all those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our country.”


- Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee Chair


"In declining to hear these cases, the Supreme Court saw through the administration's contrived efforts to gin up a national crisis. Unfortunately, the [Supreme Court's] stay of the lower courts' preliminary orders means that courageous transgender service members will face discharges while challenges to the ban go forward."


- Jennifer Levi, Project Director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

 

"The Supreme Court’s decision today to allow Trump’s so-called transgender military “ban” to go into effect is an affront to the estimated roughly 9,000 transgender service members who are currently serving our country, and the thousands of transgender people who want to serve. For decades, transgender people were forced to serve in the closet; a 2016 assessment conducted for the military recommended that the Department of Defense begin allowing transgender service members to serve openly. In response, the Obama Administration announced a plan to ensure that transgender service members can serve openly and get the healthcare services they need. Yet today the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to return to the discriminatory policy of forcing transgender people to choose between openly living in their gender or continuing their dedicated military service.


"For many, especially low-income transgender people of color, military service provides a much-needed pathway out of poverty and an opportunity to serve and protect their community. Trump has worked to close pathways out of poverty for as many marginalized people as he can, and today’s Supreme Court decision shows that our Courts are failing in their duty to check that abuse of power. This ban has nothing to do with how transgender people serve in the military and everything to do with discrimination. We call on Congress to act immediately to protect transgender service members from this destructive policy."


- Rea Carey, Executive Director of The National LGBTQ Task Force

 

“The Supreme Court’s decisions today are perplexing to say the least: on the one hand denying the Trump administration’s premature request for review of lower court rulings before appellate courts have ruled and rebuffing the administration’s attempt to skirt established rules; and yet on the other allowing the administration to begin to discriminate, at least for now, as the litigation plays out. For more than 30 months, transgender troops have been serving our country openly with valor and distinction, but now the rug has been ripped out from under them, once again. We will redouble our efforts to send this discriminatory ban to the trash heap of history where it belongs.”

 

- Peter Renn, Lambda Legal Counsel

 

 

 

 

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