In the summer of 2017, Trump announced via Twitter that the US military would no longer allow most transgender troops to serve, baselessly asserting that these individuals burden the military. Ex-Secretary of Defense James Mattis released the official policy banning many transgender people from military service in 2018, despite a complete lack of evidence that transgender people’s service harms the US military in any way.
Several lower courts issued injunctions blocking the ban’s implementation, pending a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court on the rule’s legality. However, the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to override these injunctions and allow the ban to go into effect even as lower courts review the policy. On January 22nd, a divided Supreme Court ruled that the ban could be reinstated for now, despite ongoing litigation in the lower courts. Now, the over 8,000 transgender individuals who serve in the US military face an uncertain future.
To address this issue, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) have introduced legislation to allow transgender military members to continue their service, uninterrupted by Trump’s bigoted and hateful transgender service ban. Call your reps and make sure they support this much needed legislation.