Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brock Stone, who is based at Fort Meade and has served in the Navy for 11 years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, speaks to reporters outside the federal courthouse with his team of lawyers. Stone is challenging President Trump’s policy banning transgender people from serving in the military. (Jason Andrew/For The Washington Post)
A second federal judge has halted the Trump administration’s proposed transgender military ban, finding that active-duty service members are “already suffering harmful consequences” because of the president’s policy.
The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis in a Maryland case comes just weeks after another judge in Washington blocked the administration’s proposal that would have stopped military recruitment of transgender men and women and possibly forced the dismissal of current service members, starting in March.
The preliminary injunction issued by the judge in Baltimore on Tuesday goes further than the earlier ruling by also preventing the administration from denying funding for sex-reassignment surgeries after the order takes effect.
In his 53-page order, Garbis said the transgender service members challenging the ban have “demonstrated that they are already suffering harmful consequences such as the cancellation and postponements of surgeries, the stigma of being set apart as inherently unfit, facing the prospect of discharge and inability to commission as an officer, the inability to move forward with long-term medical plans, and the threat to their prospects of obtaining long-term assignments.”
In July, President Trump surprised military leaders and members of Congress when he announced the proposal in a series of tweets. The challenge from six active-duty service members in Maryland was filed days after Trump issued a formal order reversing an Obama-era policy allowing transgender men and women to serve openly and to receive funding for sex-reassignment surgery.
Justice Department lawyers asked the court this month to dismiss the lawsuit…