Transgender Service Members Sue President Trump Over Military Ban
Aug 09 2017 by Kathy Alvarado
Lawyers for the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders - two legal groups on the complaint - write that they are seeking a judgment declaring Trump's "directive to categorically exclude transgender people from military service is unconstitutional" and "injunction prohibiting the categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service".
For now, a 2016 policy established by the Obama administration that allows transgender people to serve openly remains in effect.
Trump said in his tweets that the decision to ban trans military service was made after consultation with his generals and to safeguard the readiness of the armed forces.
The report was released in response to the recent announcement by President Trump, on Twitter, that the military would no longer "allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military", citing what the president called the "tremendous medical costs" of providing adequate care.
"Transgender service members have been blindsided by this shift and are scrambling to deal with what it means for their futures and their families".
Trump's directive has "already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs' reasonable expectation of continued service", they argue in a court filing, adding the White House has turned Trump's tweets into "official guidance, approved by the White House counsel's office, to be communicated to the Department of Defense". "This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy", the retired officers said in a statement, The Hill reported.
Several cities and police departments around the country have reached out to the trans community and shown their support with the message that their departments would welcome any trans military members who were kicked out due to the ban. "The President's mistreatment of these dedicated troops will serve only to weaken and demoralize our armed forces". A Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon past year estimates that there are about 11,000 transgender troops in the reserves and active-duty military.
Lamdba Legal and the LGBT military group OutServe-SLDN have also pledged to take Trump to court over the ban.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford issued a letter the next day indicating the policy would not be changed until the White House issued further "guidance".