Court Rules Against Trump Administration's Discriminatory Military Service Ban for the Fourth Time
SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement in response to a federal court ruling that President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military is discriminatory and unlawful. California is a co-plaintiff in the case, Stockman v. Trump, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by Equality California and additional co-plaintiffs. The case sought to defend the rights of transgender individuals seeking to join, or currently serving openly in, the U.S. military. As of today, four federal district courts have preliminarily enjoined enforcement of President Trump’s ban on military service by transgender individuals in the cases in Maryland, Washington, the District of Columbia and now California.
“Discriminating against capable soldiers because of their gender identity does not represent the values of our great nation,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We are pleased that today’s ruling proves that discrimination against transgender Americans will not be tolerated. The President’s disgraceful ban on transgender people serving in the military not only compromises our national security, but it marginalizes transgender Americans who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep us safe. We are proud to be part of the fight to protect the rights of this honorable group of brave people defending our country.”
In July, President Trump announced via Twitter that he would reverse existing Department of Defense policies that allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the military. Following that announcement, Attorney General Becerra, along with 18 fellow attorneys general, sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to add language to the federal National Defense Authorization Act to make clear that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender persons who currently serve in or wish to join the U.S. military. On November 16, 2017, the United States District Court for the Central District of California allowed California to intervene as a co-plaintiff in Stockman v. Trump.
In addition, Attorney General Becerra has joined friend-of-the-court briefs in lawsuits in Maryland and in the District of Columbia that also are challenging the Administration’s discriminatory military service ban. The Attorney General has filed several other friend-of-the-court briefs supporting LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans. In addition to joining amicus briefs in Stone v. Trump and Doe v. Trump in October, the Attorney General joined the case of Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs to defend transgender veterans’ rights to health care coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs for medically necessary care, including sex reassignment surgery.