A federal appeals court on Friday
lifted a lower court's order preventing the Trump administration from
enforcing its ban on transgender troops.
However, in order for the ban to take
effect, the government must first reverse three additional nationwide
preliminary injunctions against it.
In a series of tweets in July, 2017,
President Donald Trump declared that the military will no longer
“accept or allow” transgender troops to serve “in any
capacity,” reversing Obama-era policy on transgender individuals
serving in the military.
LGBT activists filed four lawsuits in
federal courts challenging the ban.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the
district court should not have blocked the ban from taking effect as
it is being challenged in court.
The panel, made up of two Republican
and one Democratic appointees, opined
that the ban “plausibly relies upon the 'considered
professional judgment' of 'appropriate military officials' and
appears to permit some transgender individuals to serve in the
The case, Doe v. Trump, was
filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ
Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
“Today's ruling is a devastating slap
in the face to transgender service members who have proved their
fitness to serve and their dedication to this country,” NCLR Legal
Director Shannon Minter said in a statement. “We will keep
fighting this cruel and irrational policy, which serves no purpose
other than to weaken the military and punish transgender service
members for their patriotism and service.”
GLAD Transgender Rights Project
Director Jennifer Levi added: “Today's decision is based on the
absurd idea that forcing transgender people to suppress who they are
in order to serve is not a ban. It ignores the reality of
transgender people's lives, with devastating consequences, and rests
on a complete failure to understand who transgender people are. It
is also destabilizing to the military to so dramatically reverse a
policy that has been in place for over 2 years that senior military
officials acknowledge has operated with no problems.”
Doe was the first legal
challenge filed in opposition to Trump's transgender military ban.
(Opinion provided by Equality