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ACLU sues Trump over transgender military ban

ACLU sues Trump over transgender military ban

In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit Monday on behalf of six transgender military members.

Last month, Trump wrote on Twitter that transgender troops could no longer serve "in any capacity", abruptly announcing to reinstate the ban.

While the ban appealed to some conservatives in Trump's political base, it created uncertainty for thousands of transgender service members, many of whom came out in 2016 when the Pentagon announced that it would allow transgender individuals to serve openly.

"The Trump administration has provided no evidence that this pronouncement wasbased on any analysis of the actual cost and disruption allegedly caused by allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly", according to the complaint.

"This boycott not just wrongfully averts enthusiastic, gifted Americans from serving, it additionally bargains the wellbeing and security of our nation", Lambda Legal senior lawyer Peter Renn said in an announcement.

During a time when every qualified person is needed to help defend and protect our country, we should not be turning away people from the military because they are transgender, Heinz said in a statement.

The first lawsuit was filed Monday at a federal court in Seattle.

Placing blame on the Obama administration, Trump's memo said his predecessor in the White House had not thought through whether the policy allowing transgender service members would "hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources".




Demonstrators gather to protest President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the US military, at the White House on July 26, 2017.

Earlier this month, five transgender servicemembers filed another lawsuit against Trump and top pentagon officials challenging the ban.

"The ban is unpatriotic and un-American, singling out valiant transgender Americans who are serving and who want to serve". It argues that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, as well as due process and free speech.

The Seattle-based Gender Justice League and several local transgender people who either want to join the military or who now serve in the armed forces have filed a lawsuit in federal court, according to a news release Monday.

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 lawsuits discuss the methodic detail with which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the course of one year under the Obama administration examined the issue of transgender service - a process that included commissioning a study by the RAND Corp. that found no drawbacks either to military readiness or medical costs.

"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.

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the plaintiffs in the case this week intend to file a motion for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of Trump's ban as litigation is underway. "We are proud to be a plaintiff on behalf of our transgender members now serving or wishing to enlist or commission, but who find their careers and their future under attack - and we thank all of the plaintiffs, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their leadership in challenging this unsafe directive".

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