The US Supreme Court has voted to allow for Donald Trump’s proposed military ban on transgender people in the US defence forces to go ahead. The court voted five votes to four in favour of the controversial proposal.
The policy will not impact transgender people already in the military service or trans people who are “willing to serve in their biological sex”.
The ban intends to stop “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition” from entering the US military.
Initially, the ban was blocked by four liberal justice rulings. However, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh overruled these decisions.
Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason denied allegations that the policy is a ban on transgender personnel in the army:
“As always we treat all transgender persons with respect and dignity. The Department of Defence proposed policy is NOT a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that the Department of Defence be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world.”
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives condemned the move and highlighted how the ban was “purpose-built to humiliate brave men and women seeking to serve their country”:
.@realDonaldTrump’s ban on trans Americans serving in our nation’s military was purpose-built to humiliate brave men & women seeking to serve their country. Deeply concerning that #SCOTUS is allowing his ban to proceed for now. #ProtectTransTroops https://t.co/PgtEJJVHvX
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 22, 2019
Peter Renn, a counsel for Lambda Legal, an LGBT+ civil rights group was critical of the Supreme Court’s ruling:
“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.”
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) January 22, 2019
“For more than 30 months, transgender troops have been serving our country openly with valour 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.”
Additionally, Sarah McBride, the NRC national press secretary dubbed the ruling harmful for transgender service members:
“As this critical matter makes its way through the courts, brave transgender patriots deserve to have their constitutional rights protected.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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