Human Rights Groups, Local Sergeant Sue Trump Over Transgender Military Ban

Scheiber

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed one of the lawsuits in Baltimore federal court on behalf of six transgender people serving in several branches of the army.

-Josh Block, ACLUTrump's order, signed last Friday, would also bar "the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals now serving in the military", CNN reported.

LGBT groups Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the second lawsuit in Seattle on behalf of an Army staff sergeant and two transgender people who wish to join the military.

The dispute was triggered by a three-part Tweet by Trump on July 26, in which the president said he needed to reverse his predecessor's transgender policy to protect military readiness and reduce waste.

At the culmination of a thorough process, the Department of Defense concluded in 2016 that there was no basis for the military to exclude transgender individuals from openly serving their country, subject to the same fitness requirements as other service members. All service members have a statutory entitlement to full doctor-recommended medical care.

Trump's policy, which goes into effect January 1, reverses one from the Obama administration in 2016 that allowed transgender individuals to serve openly without fear of being discharged.

In its lawsuit, HRC alleged that Trump's ban is "dripping with animus" and in clear violation of the equal protection and due process provisions of the Fifth Amendment and the First Amendment's guarantee of the right to free expression.

Davidson said as of last week, transgender people were already being turned away from enlistment.

On Twitter, ACLU declared that Trump's transgender ban is "based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, and a desire to harm transgender people". Trump cited concerns over "tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail".




According to one official, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been directed to take a number of factors into consideration such as "military effectiveness", budgetary constraints and "unit cohesion", as well as others he deems "relevant".

But in defending the ban, the Trump administration will face a challenge in explaining why it overturned the Obama-era policy, since it was backed by studies and testimony from military officials, he said.

The White House issued the guidance on Friday, roughly a month after the president called for completely barring transgender people from serving in the military.

He had earlier announced his plans on Twitter to ban transgender people from the armed forces.

Another lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders was filed before Trump's directive and remains pending before a federal court in D.C.

RAND estimated the number of transgender individuals now serving in the military to be between 1,320 and 6,630, out of 1.3 million total service members.

Stone could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Davidson said that move creates ambiguity that also requires an immediate lawsuit.

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