ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Transgender Military Ban

Aug 29, 2017, 00:38
ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Transgender Military Ban

In issuing his memo, Trump took aim at the Obama administration, which past year reversed the ban on transgender people openly serving in the USA 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 filed the suit on behalf of two transgender people who wish to enlist but won't be able to under the ban, a transgender woman who has served in the US army for more than 12 years, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gender Justice League. This order reverses that course, and we strongly urge President Trump to do the right thing by allowing transgender people to serve in the USA armed forces.

The two locations maximize the chance that the pro-transgender cases will be heard by progressive judges, who may declare that Trump's power as Commander in Chief is insufficient to stop the enlistment of people who say they are living as members of the other sex.

The lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed Monday in federal court in Maryland, alleges Trump's order violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.

The ACLU tweeted that it is also representing six service members "hurt by #TransMilitaryBan".

One of the Seattle plaintiffs is 33-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Cathrine Schmid, who has served for more than 12 years and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of the city.

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In a press release about the OutServe-SLDN lawsuit, Lambda Leghal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said, "This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country".

Duckworth, who lost both legs serving in the Iraq war, has received a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Congressional Scorecard, a measure of a lawmaker's support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

"Allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly and providing them with necessary health care does nothing to harm military readiness or unit cohesion", Block added.

The ACLU is suing President Donald Trump and four members of the Trump administration over the President's ban on transgender service members. Trump has tasked Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with coming up with a plan by February 2018 for addressing already enlisted transgender individuals. It's unknown how many of them are in Georgia, which is home to thousands of USA service members and some major military installations, including Fort Benning, Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart.

"If you are willing to risk your life for your country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve - no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation", she said.

The RAND Corporation found in a 2016 study there are about 2,500 transgender people out of 1.3 million active duty service members, and 1,500 out of 825,000 in the reserves (with upper end of estimates are 7,000 and 4,000 respectively).

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