Transgender Servicemembers Allowed in The Military, or Not?

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 01, 2019 | Last updated on April 04, 2019

No sooner had a federal appeals court lifted an injunction blocking the ban on transgender servicemembers in the military, than Congress passed a resolution opposing it.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals was finalizing its ruling even as the U.S. House of Representatives counted votes against the ban. But the back-and-forth has been going on since President Trump announced the policy in July 2017.

For thousands of transgender military members, it has been about continuing to serve their country. For everybody else, it looks like politics as usual.

Resolved the Issue

The U.S. Supreme Court resolved the legal issue in January, saying generally that the U.S. military could bar transgender people from joining the service. There are exceptions for those already serving and "people without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria."

It was a 5-4 decision, but it forced the hands of judges from California to Washington who had issued four injunctions against the ban. The DC Circuit finalized its ruling to lift one injunction this week.

The plaintiffs, who sued the administration over the ban, had time to ask for a re-hearing. In the meantime, Congress got involved.

By a vote of 238-185, the House of Representatives passed a resolution "strongly" opposing the transgender ban.

'Strongly' Opposing

The lawmakers rejected the "flawed scientific and medical claims upon which it is based." They also urged the Department of Defense not to reinstate the transgender ban.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced it will enforce the policy staring April 12.

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