The Trump administration’s long-wished-for transgender military ban now is officially — and legally — cleared to proceed.
Different variations of the ban have been floating in legal limbo for several months. The language has shifted, but its core idea has remained the same: Transgender troops are not welcome to risk their lives defending the U.S.
The ban, which will force individuals to serve in their birth gender and bar transgender personnel from transitioning to their self-identified gender, can go in effect April 12. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the last remaining legal hurdle against it Tuesday evening.
Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist signed a memo on March 12 approving the administration’s long-wished-for ban, which signaled the near completion of the saga.
Norquist’s surprising announcement came even as lower courts still debated over the legality of the policy.
When the news broke, the transgender rights activist and lawyer Chase Strangio told the Daily News that it was still “premature” to count a victory for the anti-trans camp, citing the an injunction that was “still in place in the D.C. case.” But he noted that administration was fighting hard to implement it.
“We’ve known that this is their position since July of 2017 when the president tweeted [his support]”, said Strangio, who’s a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
But now, the on-again-off-again ban received its final legal blessing.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the administration what it requested on Wednesday, dissolving the last injunction that prevented the Pentagon from implementing the ban.
Barring any new — and unlikely — legal development, the ban becomes the official policy regarding transgender military starts in two weeks.
According to The Advocate, the move could mean the discharge of an estimated 13,000 transgender troops.
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