“Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling said she refuses to “bow down” to criticism about her recent comments on transgender people. Rowling drew outrage Saturday on Twitter when she criticized an opinion piece published by the website Devex, a media platform for the global development community, that used the phrase “people who menstruate.” Rowling implied it should have said “women.”
Vermont Democrat Christine Hallquist made history on Tuesday when she became the first transgender person nominated for governorship by a major party. Hallquist’s win comes during an election year dominated by women and lesbian, gay, transgender, or queer candidates. Hallquist supports Medicare-for-all and aims to address climate change in Vermont’s public education system if elected.
The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational. In an unsigned 5-4 order, the justices took no stance on the legality of the ban, first proposed in a surprise tweet by Trump in 2017, but Tuesday’s action clears the way for it to take effect while lower courts hear additional arguments. The four liberal justices objected to allowing the administration’s policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military to go into effect.
President Trump’s request to delay the ability of transgender people to enlist in the military was rejected by a federal judge, Monday. The Pentagon says enlistments will begin in January. District of Columbia Judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, cited arguments as ‘vague claims,’ saying Trump’s administration had already had ‘nearly one and a half years’ to prepare.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned an Obama-era ruling which protected transgender workers under employment discrimination laws. Sessions claims that Title VII, a 1964 civil rights law, does not apply to gender identity. While Sessions does not ‘condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity,’ his Department of Justice believes the prior decree was unjustified.
On the 25th, President Trump signed a memorandum directed to the Pentagon to now ban the recruitment of trans people in the military, although Trump is leaving it to military leader, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, to determine whether trans people already serving in the military will be allowed to continue their duty. The memorandum also states that sexual reassignment surgery will not be provided by the military.
The transgender ban that President Trump went public with on twitter last month will, it seems, be moving forward with directions for the Pentagon to deny admittance to any trans applicants and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving. The White House memo gives Defense Secretary Jim Mattis 6 months to prepare and implement the ban.
On Tuesday evening in Texas, a bill written to restrict which bathroom transgender people can use in public buildings and schools died, an unusual defeat for social conservatives in a state which they predominantly win. This is the second time in 3 months that the bill has not passed, with one governor stating the issue will not go away so they will keep bringing the bill back until it passes.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from United States military service by overruling a presidential memo overturning an Obama-era policy change. Kollar-Kotelly sided with plaintiffs whose lawsuit claimed Trump was violating constitutional rights. The ruling allows transgender troops to reenlist and new troops to enroll come January.