Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Attempt to Delay Transgender Enlistment
(WASHINGTON, D.C., November 27, 2017)-Today, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied a Trump administration request in Doe v. Trump to delay the January 1, 2018 effective date for transgender enlistment. Doe v. Trump-filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)-was the first of four federal lawsuits to challenge President Trump's transgender military ban and the first to secure a nationwide injunction halting the ban. The transgender attorneys leading the fight against Trump's ban, Shannon Minter and Jennifer Levi, issued the following statements in response:
"Judge Kollar-Kotelly has once again confirmed that there is no legitimate reason to bar transgender people from military service," said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. "We are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling that on January 1, transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist."
"January 1 means January 1," said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. "That's the date when the military can no longer deny transgender people from enlisting. The court's earlier order was clear on that point. This latest ruling is an exclamation point, not that any was needed."
In Doe v. Trump, NCLR and GLAD argue that Trump's ban, first announced in a series of tweets, is irresponsible and discriminatory because qualified and able transgender Americans who wish to enlist have been barred from doing so and transgender service members have been demeaned and stigmatized and faced with the prospect of discharge and the loss of their professions, livelihoods, health care, and the post-military retirement they have worked hard to earn.
NCLR and GLAD have been at the center of the legal fight challenging President Trump's military ban since filing Doe v. Trump, the first of four cases filed against the ban, on August 9. The Trump administration lost the first round and appealed Judge Kollar-Kotelly's injunction to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, one court level below the United States Supreme Court.
The two organizations are also co-counsel in a second suit challenging the ban, Stockman v. Trump, brought by Equality California. Oral argument in Stockman v. Trump is scheduled for Monday, December 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation. www.GLAD.org
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org