On August 25 President Trump issued an official memorandum to the Secretary of Defense ordering the military not to accept transgender troops. The order came after last month’s announcement on Twitter where Trump initially announced the ban.
Needless to say, the LGBT community and most sane Americans weren’t happy with the announcement. Not only do groups like the ACLU and Lambda Legal believe Trump’s trans ban to be highly discriminatory and offensive, they believe it is also unconstitutional. As promised, both groups have filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the ban.
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 — brought in response to President Trump’s formal issuance of directions to military authorities late Friday — 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 (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization; and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle.
“This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said.
“Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the U.S. military for more than a year — not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence,” Renn added. “Once again attacking a vulnerable population based on bias, political opportunism and demonstrably untrue ‘alternative facts,’ President Trump is denying brave men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever.”
The ACLU’s Lawsuit argues that Trump’s ban “violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Covington & Burling LLP today filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging the president’s directive banning transgender service members from continuing to serve in the military or receiving medically necessary health care, and banning men and women who are transgender from enlisting.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.
Both groups have a strong case, and it’s likely that further lawsuits will be filed in the coming weeks to challenge the constitutionality of Trump’s transgender ban.