The Trump administration can not deny funding for sex reassignment surgeries for active duty military members until the official guidance goes into effect in 2018, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis of Maryland ruled Wednesday.
Garbis has ordered USA military heads not to enforce policies and directives of Trump regarding military eligibility of transgender service members and related sex-reassignment medical procedures.
According to The Washington Post, Garbis said that "transgender people serving in the military have "demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences" due to Trump's policy, '" and Garbis issued a injunction that not only stops the ban from going into effect, but also prevents the administration from denying funding for trans soldiers' transition-related surgical care. He followed with an August memo directing the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, and gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to come up with a policy on "how to address" those who are now serving.
The Washington Attorney General's Office has also intervened in the case, saying the state wants to make sure the money it spends on the National Guard isn't used to support a discriminatory policy. She said the administration had provided no solid evidence for why a ban should be implemented.
Federal judge defies Trump admin, removes Pentagon block on funds for gender reassignment
A US Department of Justice spokesperson, Lauren Ehrsam, said officials disagreed with Garbis' ruling and they are weighing their next steps. Two weeks before Trump issued his official memo instating the ban in late August, two LGBTQ organizations filed lawsuits against it.
"Today's filing signals that the Trump administration is more committed than ever to demeaning and stigmatizing transgender service members and transgender Americans", said GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi. The lawsuit reviewed by the Baltimore judge was filed by the ACLU on behalf of six transgender members of the armed forces.
The proposed ban remains unenforceable under the preliminary injunctions.
Garbis was especially unaffected by the Justice Department's contention that the "President did not really declare an arrangement choice" when he passed on the prohibition on Twitter in July.