If there’s one thing that has defined Donald Trump’s rise to power, it’s that he has shown himself to be not at all interested in respecting the contribution of various marginalized communities to the United States as a whole. In his world, immigrants, Muslims, and transgender people, among other groups, should be shunned either some or all of the time.
To that end, earlier this year, the president made an abrupt announcement on Twitter that he would be banning transgender people from serving in the military. Sure, the military spends more on treatment for erectile dysfunction than it has at any point on medical services required by transgender people, but no rational consideration mattered to the president in making his decision.
He wrote on Twitter in July that the U.S. military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Following the announcement of his ban — which the president waited until the month after his tweets to make official with a notice to the Department of Defense — the Trump Administration faced unsurprising legal challenges from transgender individuals already serving in the military, as well as groups interested in protecting transgender rights. Now, those on the right side of history when it comes to the issue of LGBT rights have been handed yet another victory in their fight to keep Trump’s transgender ban from going into effect, with a federal judge ruling that the military must accept openly transgender recruits beginning on New Year’s Day of the coming year.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who also ruled against the transgender ban earlier this fall, handed down the latest ruling, denying the Trump Administration’s request to push back an order for the Armed Forces to begin accepting openly transgender recruits in 2018.
Kollar-Kotelly is not impressed with the Trump Administration’s attempts to delay implementation of the order allowing openly transgender recruits, noting in her ruling that, although the Trump Administration claims to need more time to prepare to comply with the order, they waited three weeks to appeal her earlier ruling and only filed their motion to push back the January 1 deadline for accepting openly transgender recruits last Wednesday.
The rule for the military to begin accepting openly transgender recruits was laid down during the close of the Obama Administration, and it was supposed to go into effect this year. Former Navy secretary Raymond Edwin Mabus Jr., who worked in government until over a year ago at this point, says that he doesn’t understand why the Trump Administration would insist that they need more time to prepare to accept openly transgender recruits.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders transgender rights project director Jennifer Levi quipped that “this administration needs to stop creating fake problems and get on with it,” and indeed, her sentiment seems applicable to an array of situations. The president, for instance, has made up that there is some sort of problem with the integrity of mainstream media organizations, and, among other things, he’s also made up that putting a wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico is a good idea.
Even still, it’s not as though reality has been something to stop the president from coming up with half baked excuses for peddling racism and bigotry in the past.
Featured Image via Chris Kleponis – Pool/Getty Images