DOJ ignores harm, asks court to dismiss transgender military ban challenge

Dylan Kohere, a transgender man, is a member of ROTC at his university. Facebook photo.

The Trump administration continued it war against transgender military members this week. On Wednesday, the Justice Department asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s ban on military service by transgender people.

“The lawsuit was filed in August by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of eight transgender individuals, including service members in the Air Force, Coast Guard and the Army, as well as students at the U.S. Naval Academy and in the ROTC program at the University of New Haven,” according to an Associated Press report.

See more coverage of the lawsuit against the transgender military ban:
Transgender military ban under siege in courts
Transgender military ban challenged in ACLU lawsuit
Lawsuit opposes Trump's ban on transgender military service

The DOJ filing said that the lawsuit was premature, and that none of the plaintiffs had been injured yet.

Reasons given for the request include that “the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the president ordered,” said the AP.

“The two advocacy groups who filed the lawsuit assailed that assertion, saying there was a ‘compelling need’ to halt the administration's efforts.”

One of the plaintiffs, Dylan Kohere, a transgender man, is a student at the University of new Haven. He is enrolled in that schools Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Kohere told USA Today in an interview that the potential ban is already taking a toll.

“’I worked for years to become physically able and ready enough to serve,’ said Kohere in an exclusive interview with USA Today. ‘To be told I couldn’t simply because of how I identify was really frustrating,” USA Today reported.

“Kohere, who came out as transgender his first year in high school, is only a few months beyond orientation at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn. Instead of dealing with the ebbs and flows of the freshman experience, he is mired in uncertainty over whether he will be able to complete his ROTC program or enter the military.”

The AP followed the impact on plaintiffs such as Kohere. "’Because of the president's ban, smart, dedicated, and idealistic young people like our plaintiffs ... are barred from fulfilling their dreams of military service,’ said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights,” the AP said.

“The Justice Department brief argued that the lawsuit, even if it were allowed to proceed, was likely to fail.

"’Federal courts owe the utmost deference to the political branches in the field of national defense and military affairs, both because the Constitution commits military decisions exclusively to those branches and because courts 'have less competence' to second-guess military decision-making,’ the brief said.”

Copyright The Gayly – October 6, 2017 @ 11 a.m. CDT.