Two lawsuits challenge Trump transgender military service ban

Two lawsuits challenge Trump transgender military service ban

On Aug. 9, five transgender service members filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. asking a judge to block Trump from issuing a ban.

It described the ban as "cruel" and being based on "myths and stereotypes" and a "desire to harm transgender people". "It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out courageous transgender service members and able recruits for discrimination".

The second lawsuit was filed Monday in Seattle on behalf of a 12-year Army veteran.

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"The Trump organization has given no confirmation that this declaration depended on an investigation of the genuine cost and interruption professedly caused by permitting men and ladies who are transgender to serve transparently", ACLU attorneys said. Stone uncovered his transgender status to military staff in 2016 after the Defense Department finished up there was no reason for the military to reject transgender administration individuals.

The suits come just days after the president issued a memo outlining implementation of the ban, which, by early next year, seeks to roll back an Obama-era decision to lift a previous transgender ban in the US military.

While a White House official refused to specify on Friday whether or not there might be any case in which a transgender service member now in the military could remain in the service, the White House says the Pentagon will decide a best "implementation plan" to address the situation by a deadline of March 23, 2018.

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This isn't the only lawsuit Trump is facing due to the ban.

In an August 25 memo issued to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, Trump orders a "return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016". Both suits challenge the ban for violating plaintiffs' equal protection and substantive due process under the law, and the Lambda/OutServe suit also argues that the ban violates their free speech by punishing them for being open about expressing their identities. The suit was filed on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign; and Gender Justice League, a Seattle-based gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization.

"And we're confirming that going forward we will apply the same general principles, standards, and procedures to transgender service members as we do to all service members", he concluded. "A huge number of current administration individuals are transgender, and many have been serving transparently, boldly and effectively in the USA military for over a year - also the earlier decades when many were compelled to serve peacefully", he said. The case was filed in Maryland. By contrast, barring transgender individuals from joining the military and discharging those who are already serving is exceedingly costly and undermines national security and military readiness.

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Lawyers from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders also filed a lawsuit against the ban earlier this month along with a team from Wilmer Pickering Hale & Dorr.

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