The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to temporarily lift injunctions against the Trump administration’s ban on open service by transgender Americans is just that: temporary.
The court allowed the legal challenges to Trump’s transgender military ban to continue in the federal courts. However, the court’s decision to lift the injunctions that have been blocking the ban means that transgender service members will cruelly face discharges.
What’s more, transgender recruits will be denied enlistment opportunities as these cases proceed, and until the court has another opportunity to consider the case on its merits.
Lifting the injunctions – even temporarily – is a slap in the face to the brave service members who are currently serving our country and those who want to serve. Trump’s cruel transgender military ban is based on discrimination, not facts. Multiple courts have recognized this, and it will ultimately be blocked for good.
The military’s own research shows Trump’s ban would weaken our military. It means losing qualified, trained service members and depriving the military of qualified recruits at a time when enlistment numbers are already too low.
Transgender men and women have been serving with honor, many on the front lines. They have demonstrated their fitness to serve. They deserve our respect and gratitude, not this cruel ban.
Transgender people are, indeed, people; they have the same capabilities, dreams, and devotion to our country as everyone else, and they deserve an equal opportunity to continue serving our country.
We’re confident that our court system, including the Supreme Court, ultimately will recognize and affirm these basic American principles.
The SPLC remains committed to securing the dignity, safety and liberty of people of all races, ages and economic circumstances, including people who are transgender or gender nonconforming.
Photo by The Washington Post/Getty Images