WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden repealed the transgender military ban put in place by the prior administration. The ban was the subject of multiple lawsuits including Stone v. Trump which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Maryland, and Covington & Burling LLP on behalf of six members of the armed forces who are transgender. Six additional individuals who want the opportunity to serve in the military and are transgender later joined the lawsuit.
“I am relieved and appreciative that, in promptly rescinding the trans military ban, President Joe Biden made it a priority to correct our course and set us back on a heading for progress,” said Brock Stone, Petty Officer First Class in the United States Navy and plaintiff. “I joined the Navy in 2006 to serve my country, and my idea of patriotism includes speaking up for myself and anyone else who’s being held down. No one in this country should be afraid to be themselves, to walk down a street, to apply for a job, to go out in public, or to exist. The Biden administration’s actions affirm that I and other transgender service members belong in our military, our country, and our society. I look forward to the continued progress that I know our great country is capable of.”
“This is a victory for our clients who want the opportunity to serve their country openly and freely in our armed forces. Discrimination should have no place in our country and in our federal government,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “We look forward to working with the Biden administration to quickly resolve our lawsuit and eliminate any remaining barriers to full participation for transgender service members. The ACLU’s work to ensure all LGBTQ people can live openly and freely is not over, but today we celebrate and applaud this historic step forward.”
The ACLU says this move from the Biden administration should be the first of many actions that not only roll back Trump administration policies discriminating against transgender and non-binary people, but more fully recognize transgender and non-binary people. The ACLU’s priority for the Biden administration is an executive order related to accurate ID documents.
Plaintiffs in the ACLU military ban lawsuit include 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, Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker, as well as Teddy D’Atri, Ryan Wood, Niko Branco, and three other transgender individuals seeking to join the armed services.
Photos of Brock Stone (credit: ACLU/Keith Lane) available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/82f6gyb2ydbqu7t/AADL5rBr3kFCuZoBluI9m5I7a?dl=0