Today, despite our efforts to fight the ban in the courts and in the streets, the hateful Trump administration policy of discharging thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen will go into effect and, simply because they are transgender, some 13,700 trans people will be forced out of the military. In addition, trans Ameicans who wish to enlist will be barred from doing so unless they’re willing to deny who they are.
This ban will not only end careers, it will put lives at risk and threaten our national security. It is illegal, immoral and disgraceful.
Last year, LeGaL joined our civil rights partners by making the case to the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that transgender status should almost never be relevant to lawmaking and that discrimination against transgender people is presumptively suspect.
The ban on open military service by courageous transgender Americans who want to serve their country is only one of the heartless and dangerous actions the federal government has taken to target transgender people for discrimination. They have attacked trans students in schools, and stacked federal agencies and courts with individuals who are on a personal crusade against all LGBTQ people.
But the Trump Administration cannot erase transgender people any more than it can rule by tweet.
LeGaL has a 40-year history of defending the most vulnerable members of our community and we will continue the fight for the safety, dignity, and equality of all transgender and gender-nonconforming people. We are urging Congress to pass legislation introduced by our own New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, which will end this ban.
This is not over. But however this ends, this administration’s cruelty has already caused irreparable damage.
LeGaL honors the 15,000 transgender Americans who are serving our country in the military. We thank you for your courage and your service. We stand with you in our fight for liberty and equality for all.