DignityUSA Deplores Supreme Court Ruling Allowing Transgender Military Ban

January 23, 2019. Boston, MA. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics that has been working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people in church and society for fifty years, denounced the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows the Trump administration to bar many transgender people from U.S. military service while the policy is being reviewed by lower courts.

“It is disturbing that the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing such a blatantly discriminatory policy to be in force for even a single day,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA. “There is absolutely no legitimate reason to ban transgender people from serving our country. They have been doing so with honor and distinction for decades. The Trump administration’s directive is clearly a concession to right wing extremists, particularly those who claim religious justification for such a ban. We represent the solid majority of Catholic voters in the US who support transgender protections, in the military and in all sectors of our society.[1] Sadly, President Trump has made our transgender service members pawns in a political battle. The Supreme Court’s ruling does them a tremendous disservice.”

Duddy-Burke noted that many, including top military officials, bipartisan lawmakers and national security officials have warned that the policy will harm our military readiness.

Linda Roberts, a transgender woman who serves as DignityUSA’s Treasurer and Co-Chair of the group’s Transgender Support Caucus, said, “It is DignityUSA’s firm belief that transgender individuals who wish to serve in our nation’s military are fully capable of doing so, and must be allowed the same opportunities as other Americans. We trust that the courts will ultimately rule that this policy violates our Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. Until then, we stand with those fighting for the right to serve and continue their careers openly in their true gender. They must be safe, free from harassment, and supported by their command structure.”

DignityUSA is part of several coalitions addressing the human and civil rights of LGBTQI people, including protections for those in the military. “We pledge to continue this important work. The Supreme Court’s ruling reinforces the necessity of these efforts,” said Duddy-Burke.

 

[1] Public Religion Research Institute, Religiously Based Refusals to Serve LGBT People, Sept. 14, 2017