WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will continue to operate under its current procedures for transgender members, adhering to an injunction in place in a federal case in Maryland that is challenging a ban on military service by individuals in that classification.
That status quo remains, even in the wake of a 5-4 a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that upheld limits on which transgender personnel may be allowed to serve in the military.
“Because it is critical that the Department be permitted to formulate personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world, the Department welcomes the Supreme Court’s action (Tuesday). However, the Department remains bound by one other court order that requires continued implementation of the Carter policy,” Lt. Col. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in an email to reporters Wednesday.
“The Department is consulting with the Department of Justice on next steps in the litigation,” she said. “We look forward to continuing to press our case in the courts.”
The ban would prohibit transgender service members who experience gender dysphoria, or who have transitioned to their preferred sex, from serving in the armed services. Four lower court cases are pending.
That ban would restore the status of transgender individuals to where it was before President Barack Obama announced in 2016 that transgender individuals already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly.
President Donald Trump’s move to return to the previous policy has one loophole for transgender troops who took actions under the current rules. For the most part, they will continue to be permitted to serve.
The Pentagon has been unclear as to how many members of the military are affected by the rules.