ACLU files lawsuit against President's transgender military ban

Laura Christensen
August 29, 2017

Additionally, Trump ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis to submit by February 21 a plan "to address transgender individuals now serving in the United States military". The document formalizes the discriminatory ban that Trump unexpectedly announced in a series of tweets last month, turning a pointless, bigoted idea into official USA policy.

- Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN have filed a lawsuit challenging the trans military ban.

Trump's rejection of Obama's pro-transgender policies - and his support for a normal two-sex society - makes the task of winning those pro-transgender lawsuits more hard, said Carisa Cunningham, a spokeswoman for pro-transgender National Center for Lesbian Rights. "Men and women who are transgender with the courage and capacity to serve deserve more from their commander-in-chief".

"President Trump's actions immediately caused the individual plaintiffs and other transgender service members to fear for their careers, the well-being of their family members and dependents, their health care and, in some cases, their safety", the ACLU lawsuit states.

Staff Sergeant Cole has served in the U.S. Army for nearly 10 years, including a one-year deployment to Afghanistan where she served as a team leader and designated marksman.

Trump says Canada is being 'very difficult' in NAFTA talks, suggests terminating
This year in Guadalajara, the focus was on expanding areas of collaboration while preserving current trade. US farm groups have urged the administration to avoid any disruption in the duty-free trade.


The plaintiffs claim the ban violates the equal-protection and due-process guarantees under the Fifth Amendment, as well free speech rights.

"Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone has served in the U.S. Navy for 9 years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan", the ACLU states. Trump in his order gave U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to submit a plan for implementing the policy. That was the conclusion of a RAND Corporation study that investigated the matter for the Obama administration, according to the ACLU.

Trump's claim that allowing transgender Americans to serve openly would harm unit cohesion is undermined by the experiences of soldiers in 18 countries were they're allowed to serve, including Canada, Australia, Germany and Israel, the suit says. "Even if some transgender service members are granted continuation of service despite the ban, they will serve under standards that apply only to them, in a system in which there is a presumption that they are unfit for duty, and with no assurance that their permission to remain will endure", said a statement by five allies of the Palm Center. She said Trump's policy is a "slap in the face to service members who have devoted their lives to protecting the country".

Obama lifted the previous ban on transgender service after an inquiry led by his defense secretary, Ashton Carter, concluded the ban's reversal was unlikely to have a negative impact on military readiness. By discriminating against transgender members because of their embrace of their identity or their advocacy on behalf of transgender rights, the Armed Forces, and by, extension, the government, are engaging in viewpoint discrimination. "It deprives our armed forces of those wanting to serve at a time when the military is already facing threats on multiple fronts".

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