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Delaware native Sarah McBride: Supreme Court move on military transgender ban is "dangerous"

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration policy banning most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military to take effect while challenges move through lower courts.


National nonprofit Human Rights Campaign is involved in one of the cases challenging the policy. Delaware native Sarah McBride of the Human Rights Campaign says although the Supreme Court has not ruled on the merits of the policy, the court’s move Tuesday allows transgender service members to be discriminated against.

“This isn’t a surprising development, but it’s a no less disappointing and dangerous development,” she said.

McBride says the policy impacts thousands of transgender people currently serving— and likely thousands more who intend to enlist.

“It bans transgender people from enlisting in the US military openly. If you are currently in the US military and transgender but not yet out, if you come out, you will be discharged,” said McBride.

She says the policy also impacts current service members who are openly transgender.“While they may not face immediate discharge, there’s no question that this policy suggests that their service is less worthy of respect than others,” she said.

McBride adds the policy “liscenses discrimination” against LGBTQ people outside of the military.

Two cases challenging the policy continue to work their way through the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

McBride says her organization hopes the policy will be judged unconstitutional.  


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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