12/11/2017 22:32 EST

Federal Court In Seattle Also Rules Against Trump's Transgender Military Ban

“The Court finds that the policy prohibiting openly transgender individuals from serving in the military is likely unconstitutional.”

Another court has ruled against President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.

On Monday, a federal court in Seattle ordered a halt to the Trump administration’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, according to LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman granted a preliminary injunction, blocking the ban from being implemented while the case moves forward.

“The Court finds that the policy prohibiting openly transgender individuals from serving in the military is likely unconstitutional,” the court order read

“There is no valid reason to deny transgender people the right to serve their country. The court heard that argument, and agreed,” Lambda Legal attorney Peter Renn said in a statement late Monday. “With yet another court ruling that the President has engaged in unlawful discrimination, the policy’s days are clearly numbered, and its final demise can’t come fast enough for those whose military careers hang in the balance.”

Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcos/Nevada Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs via Reuters
Sgt. Sam Hunt is the first openly transgender soldier in the Nevada Army National Guard. "When President Obama removed the ban last year, I felt I could openly serve as a man," Hunt said.

This was the second court decision to come down on Monday challenging Trump’s ban. Another federal judge ruled in a similar lawsuit in the District of Columbia earlier Monday, rejecting the administration’s request for a stay and thereby maintaining a ruling that allows transgender people to enlist in the military starting Jan. 1.

The Department of Justice said in a statement Monday night that “we disagree with the Court’s ruling and are seeking to stay the Defense Department’s obligations under that ruling as we evaluate next steps.”

A third lawsuit challenging the ban ― this one filed by the American Civil Liberties Union ― has been making its way through the courts in Maryland. In November, the judge on that case issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the administration from denying funding for sex-reassignment surgeries.

Transgender Military Photo Series by Jeff Sheng