A federal judge yesterday upheld a temporary pause on President Trump’s ban of transgender service members in the U.S. armed forces, according to the New York Times. That means that–for now, anyway–the Defense Department must allow trans people to enlist starting on New Year’s Day.
But don’t call it a victory for trans rights just yet. It’s no guarantee that after further legal review of the discriminatory order, the ban won’t ultimately go into effect, with uncertain (but almost definitely not good) consequences for LGBTQ service members. And not just trans folks, by the way: Fast Company spoke with one lesbian in the U.S. military who chose not to speak openly about her sexuality after Trump’s July tweets announcing the ban, a decision that affects her every day.
Also yesterday, the Supreme Court separately declined to hear an appeal in one of several cases that could have big consequences for LGBTQ employment rights. That decision only delays an eventual reckoning over the meaning of “sex discrimination” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, leaving in place a legally murky status quo in which the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disagree as to whether sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under federal nondiscrimination protections. The DOJ says no, the EEOC says yes, and until that’s resolved, it’s LGBTQ workers who pay the price.RB