Civil rights groups sue Trump over transgender ban

Civil rights groups sue Trump over transgender ban
Civil rights groups sue Trump over transgender ban
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30 August, 2017

The ACLU's lawsuit was filed on behalf of the organization's Maryland branch as well as five current transgender members of the armed forces.

It continues, "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".

What Lambda Legal says: "President Trump is denying fearless men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever", Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said in a statement.

Transgender service members want nothing more than to serve their country without fanfare or special treatment.

The lawsuit is filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

"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.

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 USA military.

White House officials on Monday said they did not comment on pending litigation.

Offended parties in the two suits charge that Trump's strategy mandate abused their entitlement to rise to insurance and due process.

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As the chaos of Hurricane Harvey approached the Texas coastline, the Trump administration quickly and quietly moved to put the transgender military ban into practice Friday, Aug. 2.

The order requires Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to determine in the coming months how to handle transgender individuals now serving in the military using criteria including "military effectiveness and lethality", budget constraints and law.

The lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Seattle and Baltimore, say the ban issued on Friday violated US constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The letter states there are thousands of active-duty transgender service members and refutes Trump's contention that they have been a disruption or burden on the military, saying they serve with equal distinction, and are "equally deserving of our gratitude and respect".

LGBT groups Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the second lawsuit in Seattle on behalf of an Army staff sergeant and two transgender people who wish to join the military. The case was filed in Maryland.

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.

Why it matters: There are roughly 8,800 transgender individuals now serving in the military, according to the ACLU.

A third lawsuit was filed earlier this month by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in federal court in the District of Columbia.


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