Second judge blocks Trump’s ban on transgender military service

Second judge blocks Trump’s ban on transgender military service
U.S. President Donald Trump Pool/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump Pool/Getty Images

A second federal judge has moved to block the Trump administration’s proposed ban on transgender military members, saying that the president’s policy has already resulted in “harmful consequences” for active trans service members.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis cited the “cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments” as dangerous side-effects of the proposal.

Nick Rondoletto, left, and Doug Thorogood, a couple from San Francisco, wave a rainbow flag and hold a sign against a proposed ban of transgender people in the military at a protest.
Nick Rondoletto, left, and Doug Thorogood, a couple from San Francisco, wave a rainbow flag and hold a sign against a proposed ban of transgender people in the military at a protest. Olga R. Rodriguez/AP

Back in July, the president had announced his intention to ban transgender military members from serving “in any capacity,” citing “tremendous medical costs and disruption” as the main reasons for the change. By August the directive had materialized in the form of a memo aimed at prohibiting new transgender recruits from enlisting in the military and banning the use of federal funds to pay for gender reassignment surgery.

In October, however, a federal court partially blocked that directive, urging all branches of the military to ignore Trump’s executive memorandum regarding transgender people and “revert to the status quo.”

In a statement, the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project called Tuesday’s verdict a “victory for transgender service members across the country.”

“We’re pleased that the courts have stepped in to ensure that trans service members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” senior staff attorney Joshua Block said.