October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON — A federal court in Washington today blocked the Trump administration from implementing the president’s directive banning transgender service members from continuing to serve in the military.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its own challenge to the ban in Maryland. Oral arguments on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt the ban remain scheduled for November 9 in Baltimore.

“This is the first decision striking down President Trump’s ban, but it won’t be the last. The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban on transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “As all of these cases move forward, we will continue to work to ensure that transgender service members are treated with the equal treatment they deserve.”

The ACLU’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.

The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Maryland, and Covington & Burling LLP.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.

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