Washington DC, October 31
A judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has blocked President Donald Trump's memorandum banning transgender people serving in the military.
According to The Hill, the judge ruled on Monday that Trump's directive of changing the transgender policy back to what it was before June 2016 and banning new transgender recruits from enlisting cannot be enforced while the case is being reviewed in the court.
However, the judge denied the plaintiff's motion to block the ban on funds for gender reassignment surgery.
In a 76-page memo accompanying the ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote that it violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process.
“The court finds that a number of factors—including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President's announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs' Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious,” she wrote.
The plaintiffs in the case, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), celebrated the injunction Monday as a "complete victory."
“This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members, who are now once again able to serve on equal terms and without the threat of being discharged,” Shannon Minter, NCLR's legal director, said in a statement.
“This court saw straight through the smokescreen the government tried to create to hide the bias and prejudice behind Trump's change in military policy," added Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD's transgender rights project. "This clear, powerful ruling confirms that there is no legitimate reason to exclude transgender people from military service.” Earlier in July, Trump had tweeted that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the military. — ANI
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