GLAAD refutes Trump's roadmap to implement his discriminatory transgender military ban

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today responded after the Trump Administration’s latest announcement regarding their ongoing efforts to ban transgender soldiers from openly serving in any capacity within the United States armed forces. The fact that this memorandum was dumped late in a Friday night news cycle shows the flimsiness of the argument at the heart of this blatant excuse for discrimination. 

“President Trump has made a continuous effort to attack LGBTQ people and erase us from the fabric of our country, and the proposed transgender military ban is perhaps his cruelest and most egregious campaign,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “The majority of Americans support transgender military inclusion which has been proceeding seamlessly since it was first implemented, so we are left to assume that the Trump Administration’s intention here is solely to stoke the fires of bias and hatred in this nation.”   

According to Politico, the announcement does not change current regulations because the Pentagon is abiding by recent court rulings. “The Department of Defense will continue to comply with the federal court ruling and continue to assess and retain transgender service members,” said Maj. Dave Eastborn, a Pentagon spokesman.

In four different challenges, federal courts have blocked Trump’s ban on open transgender military service from going into effect, declaring it likely to be unconstitutional. President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis’ efforts to modify the implementation of this discriminatory policy does not make it any less unconstitutional.  

Purging skilled and qualified military personnel runs counter to the support of the majority of Americans in all fifty states who believe transgender people should be allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military. Even Secretary of Defense Mattis has been on record supporting open transgender service and personally lobbied against Rep. Hartzler’s July 2017 amendment which would have barred healthcare access to transgender military personnel. 

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, there are currently over 15,000 transgender Americans currently serving in the United States armed forces. This proposed ban is part of a pattern of hateful and targeted erasure of the transgender community that the Trump Administration has carried out, which includes rescinding guidance on how our nation’s schools should treat transgender students equally under Title IX, and most recently, arguing that discriminating against homeless transgender women is somehow justified because they could make others “not comfortable.” 

Since President Trump's initial tweet in July 2017, GLAAD has been working to tell the story of transgender service members. The GLAAD Media Institute provided partial funding for TransMilitary, a documentary about transgender service members which premiered at SXSW and won the Audience Award last week