U.S. District Judge Puts Immediate Stop To Trump Military Discrimination Policy

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For a country that claims to love and revere its service members, the U.S. doesn’t seem very interested in military personnel once they need help or protection. After Trump passed legislation banning trans citizens from joining the military, the right-wing had nothing to say regarding the protections of those willing to fight and die for their country.

Now, the Pentagon is trying to discharge members who test positive for HIV, saying that they cannot be deployed. They argued their case in court and U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema called the studies they used to argue their points “irrational, inconsistent, and at variance with modern science,” according to NBC News. She instituted a temporary ban on the military discharges, with a full hearing pending.

‘The case, Roe and Voe v. Shanahan, was filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, two LGBTQ rights organizations. They argued that the Pentagon uses “discriminatory deployment policies” that stop people living with HIV from deploying outside the U.S. without a waiver.’

Lambda Legal attorney Scott Shoettes praised Judge Brinkema’s decision. Lambda argued that the outdated science the Pentagon had used to defend the discrimination fails to note that HIV is a very manageable disease and not the death sentence it was once.

‘This is a major victory in our fight to ensure everyone living with HIV can serve their country without discrimination.These decisions should be based on science, not stigma, as today’s ruling from the bench demonstrates.’

OutServe-SLDN’s policy and legal director, Peter Perkowski, was also happy with the temporary decision to block the discharges.

‘Judge Brinkema recognized not just that the military’s policies were harming our members who are living and serving with HIV, but also indicated that, at least on the evidence before her, the military’s decisions were based on outdated medical science and are categorically denying people living with HIV the same opportunities as their fellow service members. We look forward to a final decision in the case.’

Featured image via Flickr by 82nd Sustainment Brigade under a Creative Commons license