ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Donald Trump's Transgender Military Ban

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Donald Trump's Transgender Military Ban

On July 26, President Trump posted a series of tweets in the early morning hours announcing that, "The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military".

The official memo came almost a month after Trump said in a series of tweets that the government "will not accept or allow" transgender people "to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military".

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN have filed the lawsuit on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military, one current trans military member and multiple LGBT rights groups.

The lawsuit also argues the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status.

Trump's rejection of Obama's pro-transgender policies - and his support for a normal two-sex society - makes the task of winning those pro-transgender lawsuits more hard, said Carisa Cunningham, a spokeswoman for pro-transgender National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The ACLU, along with Covington & Burling LLP, filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six transgender service members.

The ACLU tweeted that it is also representing six service members "hurt by #TransMilitaryBan". The petitioner includes Staff Sgt. Catherine Schmid, a 33-year-old woman, who is now serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord who has applied to become an Army warrant officer.

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They are seeking to block the ban temporarily as the cases move forward.

Both lawsuits argue the ban violates the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection and substantive due process.

For example, Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone has served in the U.S. Navy for 9years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. So thousands of transgender service members - some in active combat - are left in limbo, unsure whether they'll be able to keep the jobs, healthcare, and benefits that their fellow troops take for granted. Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Defense commissioned a study to assess the likely costs and impact of transgender military service.

Staff Sgt Kate Cole, 27, claims she may be prevented from undergoing transition-related surgery already approved by defense department medical personnel.

Trump's claim that allowing transgender Americans to serve openly would harm unit cohesion is undermined by the experiences of soldiers in 18 countries were they're allowed to serve, including Canada, Australia, Germany and Israel, the suit says. The military spends ten times that amount - $84 million annually - providing Viagra and sexual dysfunction medications to members of the armed forces.

Two separate lawsuits have been filed against the Trump administration for trying to institute an across-the-board ban prohibiting transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to a Rand Corp. study issued previous year, there would be "minimal" impacts on readiness, with only 10 to 130 active-duty members having reduced deployability because of gender transition-related treatments, the ACLU's suit says.

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