Just now, Governor Phil Murphy issued an order to allow transgender troops to serve openly in the New Jersey Army National Guard—exercising every available option in his power—in defiance of the Trump-Pence administration’s discriminatory ban.
Under the previous administration, swift action—or any action at all—would have been unlikely without public pressure. Given the Governor’s commitment to LGBTQ equality, Garden State Equality was able to work closely with his office to develop implementation.
New Jersey now joins five other states across the nation in clearly stating: this ban is discriminatory, it’s unconstitutional, and we won’t enforce it.
This is an important step to protect dedicated public servants within our state borders, but transgender troops across the nation in other military branches are still at risk. Since the ban went into effect last month, this disgraceful policy is already wreaking havoc:
- Trans college students are losing their military scholarships.
- Countless trans recruits are being denied enlistment at a time when overall recruitment is down.
- And almost 15,000 active and reserve trans service members are being forced back in the closet—at risk of losing their job and their healthcare.
There’s numerous cases working their way through federal courts right now which will eventually get in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Fortunately, last year, under the leadership of Governor Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey also joined a coalition of states to overturn the ban with an amicus filing in federal court.
Governor Murphy’s bold action today to protect transgender troops serving in the New Jersey Army National Guard is a critical defense against the President’s unconstitutional and discriminatory ban, and for now, it means brave transgender service members can get back to work defending our nation without fear of being discharged.
We couldn’t be doing this work for transgender equality here in New Jersey without your steadfast support—and our allies in Trenton. We're making a real difference.
Thanks for standing with us and, more importantly, with our troops.
Garden State Equality