BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A high profile case with major implications for the military packed a federal courtroom in Baltimore Thursday.
Six active duty service members from Maryland are suing President Donald Trump, saying his ban on transgender military service is unconstitutional.
Federal Judge Marvin J. Garbis said from the bench that he worries transgender military service members are being stigmatized. He cited some of the president’s comments and tweets. Meanwhile, government lawyers tried to distances themselves from Trump.
Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, of Anne Arundel County, has served in the Navy for more than a decade, including a deployment to Afghanistan.
“The Navy has become a major part of my life, far more precious to me than any job or any career,” he said. “I am here today because I want to remain a part of my family. I want to continue to serve my country as long as I remain qualified and I want my fellow transgender Americans to have the same opportunity.”
Brock spoke in front of the Baltimore courthouse Thursday, where his legal team fought for an immediate injunction of the transgender ban, which the president announced in a series of tweets in July.
Those tweets said the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
He also said “it’s been a very confusing issue for the military and I think I’m doing the military a great favor.”
A D.C. court already blocked the ban from taking effect but did not rule on medical care, which means the Maryland case could be significant.
Government lawyers argue there was no ban in effect and the issue was only being studied until a formal policy change, delayed until March.
Stone says he just wants to serve without a cloud of uncertainty.
“We’re equal to the task of serving our country and we deserve an equal chance to have that opportunity,” he said.
Judge Garbis has not ruled on the case yet, and the ruling could come days from now.