NCLR and GLAD spoke out against the Department of Justice’s response in Doe v. Trump, the first of four cases filed to stop President Trump’s transgender military ban. In the government’s motion to dismiss the case and oppose plaintiffs’ request for emergency relief, the Trump administration falsely claimed transgender individuals have not yet suffered harm from this policy. GLAD and NCLR, who are set to respond to the government’s motions in court later this month, reiterated the compelling need to put an immediate halt to the ban: transgender Americans looking to enlist are not able to do so, and currently-serving transgender servicemembers have been demeaned and stigmatized, denied health care, and are facing the loss of their professions, livelihoods, health care, and the post-military retirement they have worked hard to earn.
“The government’s response reads like pure fiction,” said Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “It states a fantasy that the President’s announcement of a ban on military service for transgender people has changed nothing. That’s simply not true. Every day this reckless ban stays in place, our military strength is diminished and our country is less safe for it. We are optimistic the Court will see through this smokescreen and halt the ban.”
NCLR and GLAD have been at the center of the legal fight challenging Trump’s military ban since filing Doe v. Trump on August 9 on behalf of five transgender servicemembers. In the weeks since, NCLR and GLAD filed an August 31 motion in Doe asking the court to immediately block the president’s policy and added two named plaintiffs who have had their plans for a career in military service thwarted by the ban – Regan Kibby, a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and Dylan Kohere, a first-year student at University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut and member of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. The two organizations are also co-counsel in a second suit challenging the ban, Stockman v. Trump, brought by Equality California.
The government’s perpetuation of the false narrative that no one is being harmed by this ban underscores the need for the court to intervene and provide emergency relief now.