Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) — the nation’s largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization — responded to the U.S. Navy’s decision to approve a waiver to the Trump-Pence transgender military ban. Allowing a transgender Sailor to serve openly as their authentic self, this is the first waiver ever granted under the Trump-Pence transgender military ban.

“The Navy’s decision to approve a waiver to the Trump-Pence transgender military ban is an important victory for this Sailor, even if we suspect the administration may be nefariously planning to misuse it to undermine our lawsuit challenging the ban,” said MMAA Legal and Policy Director Peter Perkowski. “We will be watching closely to see if others are approved and how the Trump-Pence administration may attempt to weaponize the decision by falsely claiming the ban isn’t a ban. MMAA is committed to ensuring the unconscionable Trump-Pence transgender military ban is overturned and any qualified transgender patriot is free to serve openly and authentically.”

“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,” continued Perkowski. “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.”

In 2016, under the Obama-Biden administration, the military finally updated its outdated regulations, allowing transgender service members to serve openly and authentically.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.

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