WASHINGTON-DC, January 22, 2019: In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender troops in the military to go into effect, Rea Carey, executive director of The National LGBTQ Task Force’s stated:
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.