Resisting Trump’s transgender military ban, California National Guard defies President


The White House’s transgender military ban will not be enforced by the California National Guard, a high ranking official said this week, setting the stage for a possible showdown with the Trump Administration.

“As long as you fight, we don’t care what gender you identify as,” Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard, said told the California Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday in Sacramento. “Nobody’s going to kick you out.”

Transgender Military Ban

Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, assistant adjutant general for the California National Guard, above, said transgender soldiers will not be banned from the California National Guard, setting the stage for a possible showdown with the Trump Administration’s policy to discharge them from the armed forces. Photo: Youtube screen grab.


Approximately 14,700 transgender people serve in the U.S. military, according to the Palm Center, a research institute that studies LGBTQ military inclusion. That estimate is based on data from the Department of Defense and a Palm Center study.

Beevers comments follow the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, issuing an order of stay last month that would allow the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender service members to temporarily go into effect as lower courts decide on the directive’s legality.


That particular case stemmed from two lawsuits against the Trump Administration that were filed by the State of Washington and State of California and Equality California, who also had requested an injunction against the transgender military ban.

Since the Trump ban was initially announced in late 2017, four states (California, Washington, Washington D.C., and Maryland) have filed lawsuits challenging the policy’s legality. Each state also had requested an injunction against the ban.

Also in January, a federal appeals court overturned another injunction that originated in Washington D.C.


The Maryland injunction has blocked implementation of the ban, but an appeal by the Trump Administration makes its way through the courts.

The earliest the Supreme Court could rule on that case is when their next term begins in the fall.

If the court would remove the injunction, then the California National Guard might face a confrontation with the Trump Administration.

Once the injunction issue is resolved, the legality of the ban in all four federal cases still remains.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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