NJ governor will defy ban on transgender people serving in the military

David Madden
May 03, 2019 - 2:58 pm
Governor Murphy holds a press conference with advocates, community and faith leaders on impact of marijuana legalization and expungement legislation in Trenton.

Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office via Flickr


TRENTON, NJ (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey is joining a growing list of states that’s committed to fighting President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Gov. Phil Murphy calls the ban “abhorrent and un-American” and vows to defy it, at least when it comes to the New Jersey National Guard.

He promises to use “every option available” to allow transgender people to serve in the Guard. Nevada, Oregon, California, New Mexico and Washington State have taken similar actions.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino supports Murphy’s move.

“Under previous administrations, swift action or any action at all would have been unlikely especially without public pressure,” he told KYW Newsradio. “But given Gov. Murphy’s commitment to LGBTQ equality, Garden State Equality was able to work closely with his team to develop implementation.”

But he adds that the national ban, which went into effect last month, is already having a negative effect.

“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 thousand active and reserve trans service members are being forced back into the closet at risk of losing their jobs and their health care.”

New Jersey is also involved in federal court action trying to get the ban lifted nationwide. Fuscarino hopes the Supreme Court will take up the appeal at some point.