Current Law Allows Transgender People to Serve in the Military
by Kent Eiler and Scott Kohanowski July 27, 2017
Yesterday morning the President of the United States, in a series of tweets, indicated that transgender people will not be permitted to serve in the military. Transgender individuals currently serving in the military may now, understandably, find themselves concerned as to their legal status and continued ability to serve in the armed forces. Concerned transgender service members should note that current military rules and regulations issued by the Department of Defense and the armed services allow transgender people to serve their country openly in uniform. The President’s tweets did not abrogate those rules and, unless and until those rules are changed through the appropriate process, transgender individuals can continue to serve openly.
Just last week, the New York City Bar Association issued a public statement jointly drafted by its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Committee and its Military Affairs and Justice Committee in support of the policy permitting the open service of transgender service members in the military. Read the City Bar’s full statement here: http://bit.ly/2gQekgq
Where to Find Help
If adverse action is proposed or taken against a transgender service member in violation of the existing rules of the Department of Defense, such individual is strongly encouraged to consult an attorney familiar with military law. Civil legal aid attorneys, such as those directing the City Bar Justice Center’s LGBT Advocacy and Veterans Assistance Projects, are available to assist any transgender service member who may be adversely impacted or who may have questions or concerns regarding their rights. Additionally, military attorneys (judge advocate generals – JAGs) are available to advise and assist military members on these issues at all ADC/DSO/TDS offices.
To contact CBJC’s LGBT Advocacy and Veterans Assistance Projects, please call the intake lines below:
LGBT Advocacy Project: (212) 382-6766
Veterans Assistance Project: (212) 382-4722
May 3, 2019
On April 3, 2019, New York City’s legal and business communities gathered together to celebrate the work of the ...Read more
No one should be persecuted for who they are. But, growing up in the Caribbean LGBTQ+, Sam* had never known any ot...Read more
May 2, 2019
Columbia Law School Pro Bono Scholar Angel Nwachukwu and Vermont Law Student Extern Bomy Hwang spent the semester ...Read more