Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Donovan Supports Transgender Rights

October 19, 2017

CONTACT: TJ Donovan, Attorney General, 802 595 8679

Attorney General TJ Donovan Joins Multistate Court Brief Opposing Ban on Transgender Individuals in the Military

Attorney General TJ Donovan joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief opposing the Trump Administration’s plans to ban open military service by transgender individuals.

The amicus brief, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, argues that banning transgender individuals serving in the military is unconstitutional, against the interest of national defense, and harmful to the transgender community at large. The case, Doe v. Trump, was brought by GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The brief states that approximately 150,000 veterans, active-duty service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserves identify as transgender.

In the brief, the attorneys general state that since adopting open service policies, “there is no evidence that it has disrupted military readiness, operational effectiveness, or morale. To the contrary, anecdotal accounts indicate that the positive impacts of inclusion were beginning to manifest, as capable and well-qualified individuals who were already serving finally were able to do so authentically.”

The attorneys general strongly support the rights of transgender people to live with dignity, to be free from discrimination, and to participate fully and equally in all aspects of civic life. The attorneys general argue that these interests are all best served by allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military.

Led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the states that joined the brief include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C.

Last modified: March 12, 2018