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The GOP Officially Endorsed Trump’s Failed Ban on Trans Military Service

The Republican National Convention endorsed President Trump’s failed ban on trans military service in a resolution passed on Friday.

The national GOP organization approved language which claimed that being transgender is “a disqualifying psychological and physical” condition when enlisting in the armed forces. The vote was taken at the RNC’s annual winter meeting, in which its leadership debates issues related to the official party platform.

As reported by the Associated Press, the resolution further supports the Commander-in-Chief’s “intent and prerogative to strengthen our military with sound personnel policies” and advised Trump to appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

LGBTQ advocates swiftly condemned the RNC.

“[The only disruption has come from President Trump and others who are determined to jeopardize military readiness to advance their extremist political agenda,” said National Center for Trans Equality Director Mara Keisling in a statement. “The fact is that we’ve shown, both through studies and experience, that open service by transgender troops is good for the military.”

“The fact that the RNC is siding with blatant discrimination over supporting the rights of brave Americans to serve our nation displays how toxic and deeply rooted the Trump Administration’s anti-LGBTQ ideology has become,” added Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, in a press release.

Ellis further claimed the president’s “bigoted proposal” to ban transgender military service is in “direct contradiction to the will of the American people and what’s best for our nation’s security.”

The motion, which was signed into effect in August, has already been defeated in court four times.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claimed in an October ruling that there is “absolutely no support” for the Trump administration’s repeated claims that allowing trans people to enlist “would have any negative effects on the military at all.”

The president alleged in a series of July tweets that open transgender service would cause “tremendous costs and disruption.”

Kollar-Kotelly was not persuaded by that assertion. She argued that “there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects,” pointing the removal of as many as 6,000 trans troops from active duty.

U.S. District Judges Marvin Garbis in Baltimore concurred in a November ruling that banning trans service “cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest.”

Although the RNC urged the White House to challenge these court decisions, the Trump administration claimed it would not seek further action after the District Court for the Central District of California denied an emergency motion in December to keep trans people from enlisting. Transgender troops were permitted to openly enlist in the military for the first time on Jan. 1.

At the time, the Oval Office stated it would wait for the result of a Department of Defense study on trans service, which it said was due “in the coming weeks.”

A RAND Corporation study commissioned by the Pentagon in 2016 claimed that permitting transgender troops to enter the military would result in “relatively low” medical costs, as well as having a “minimal” impact on troop readiness and unit cohesion.

Dozens of transgender troops have sought to enlist in the armed forces since the ban was lifted a little more than a month ago, USA Today reports. A Pentagon spokesperson previously told INTO that official numbers would not be available for 30 to 90 days, which is the period of time it takes recruits to go through the enlistment process and sign a contract.


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.