US Supreme Court Votes to Allow Trans Military Ban to Go Ahead
The US Supreme Court has voted to issue a stay of injunction that will allow President Donald Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military to go ahead.
The US’ highest court delivered its decision early on Tuesday morning (22 January). However, it will continue to debate the matter before making a final decision on the issue.
High Court Justices voted along party lines issuing a 5-4 win in Trump’s favor. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kegan dissented from the vote.
LGBTI advocates have started speaking out against the decision.
‘Allowing Trump and Pence’s trans military ban to go into effect harms active duty transgender troops and our national security. We will fight this harmful and discriminatory ban until it is fully defeated,’ wrote Human Rights Campaign president, Chad Griffin, on Twitter.
US LGBT military organization OutServe SLDN’s executive director, Andy Blevins also condemned the ruling.
‘For the past two-and-a-half years, thousands of qualified, transgender individuals have made our nation’s armed forces better, in every measurable quality, with their authentic service,’Blevins said.
‘The Court’s decision to allow the Trump-Pence Administration to institute their wanting and discriminatory practices while the litigation proceeds is disappointing – our siblings-in-arms deserve better.
‘We look forward to continuing our representation of these proud and selfless patriots, and reminding this Administration that military policy cannot be defined by baseless and discriminatory rationalizations.’
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, called today’s decision a ‘setback.’
‘Not only is the Trump Administration creating a dangerous environment for transgender service members,’ she said, ‘but they are also weakening the strength of our military and setting a dangerous precedent that puts the safety of our soldiers and nation’s military readiness in jeopardy.’
Trump first instituted the ban in 2017 and received widespread backlash to his decision. A month after that, he issued a memorandum declaring the end of trans service at the start of 2018.
By the end of the year, a lower US court ruled against the policy and a judge said trans troops must be allowed to join.
Trump issued a new policy in March 2018, a more watered-down version of his initial expansive plan.
The issue has been tangled up in the court system since. Some trans people have been able to join the military while others have faced obstacles.