Sunday, April 12, marks one year since the Trump-Pence admin implemented its deeply discriminatory transgender military ban, unconscionably targeting thousands of qualified American patriots. The Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) — the nation’s largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community — is on the front lines fighting to overturn this ban and support our nation’s transgender service members and their families.
“For far more than a year, the Trump-Pence administration has shamefully told thousands of qualified transgender military members that we aren’t good enough and our service doesn’t matter. Yet time and time again, we continue to prove them wrong,” said Patricia King, the Army’s first out transgender infantryman and MMAA’s federal advocacy manager.
“Over the past year, we’ve continued to hear from qualified transgender patriots who want to serve their country but can’t because of the Trump-Pence transgender military ban,” said Peter Perkowski, MMAA’s legal and policy director. “As our nation faces unprecedented challenges, the last thing our military should be doing is rejecting qualified individuals who want to serve simply because of their gender identity. We’re proud to be fighting the Trump-Pence transgender military ban in court, and we are determined to ensure that justice ultimately prevails against this blatant, unconstitutional discrimination.”
In 2016, under the Obama-Biden administration, the military finally updated its outdated regulations, allowing transgender military members to serve openly and authentically. But Donald Trump unconscionably singled out these brave American patriots for discrimination in July 2017 via Twitter with a transgender military ban. His discriminatory policy took effect on April 12, 2019.
The far majority of Americans believe that anyone who is qualified and willing should be able to serve in the military — including transgender people. The majority of active duty service members also oppose the Trump-Pence transgender military ban.
In a federal lawsuit, Karnoski v. Trump, MMAA and Lambda Legal are challenging the constitutionality of the ban. The lawsuit represents six currently serving members of the armed services; three who seek to enlist; the American Military Partner Association, which merged with OutServe-SLDN to form MMAA; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.