World

NCLR, GLAD File Suit Against Trans Military Ban

NCLR, GLAD File Suit Against Trans Military Ban

In July, President Trump tweeted that the USA military would no longer accept transgender enlistees or allow transgender personnel continue to serve, a move that could affect an estimated 11,000 troops in active-duty and the reserves. A bipartisan group of Senators also called on Mattis to advise Trump not to implement the ban shortly after he tweeted about it, and 56 retired Generals and Admirals released a joint statement last week warning that Trump's ban would degrade military readiness.

The case was organised by two rights groups, the National Centre for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

Five active-duty transgender service members sued the Trump administration in federal court on Wednesday, arguing the president's recent tweets foretelling a ban on transgender military service impinges on their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs, identified only as Jane Doe 1-5, serve in the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Army.

While the Pentagon has said that it will not act until it receives further guidance on the issue from the White House, plaintiffs argue that they are already paying the price. But it also created uncertainty for thousands of transgender service members who came out after the Pentagon said in 2016 that transgender people would be allowed to serve openly.

The suit said Trump's tweets have "already resulted in immediate, concrete injury.by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs' reasonable expectation of continued service".

Trump's decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under the Obama administration that allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the military.

"I mean that is cruel, irrational, harmful, very harmful to our nation's military", Minter told KQED.

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"She fears that the President's directive banning transgender people from military service will result in her discharge from the military before she can reach this twenty-year benchmark, thus leading to a substantial decrease in her retirement payment", the lawsuit reads.

The suits maintain the ban violates the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection and due process.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates there are more than 15,000 transgender troops in the USA military. To date, there has been no guidance from the White House. The Rand Corporation estimated that shutting down payments for transgender members' medical services would save $8.4 million per year.

The loosely-worded announcement, which was made without detail or consultation with military leaders, is being formalised into a detailed directive this month that is expected to see active-duty transgender people dismissed from their roles. "In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect".

President Donald Trump infamously declared on Twitter in July that he was going to reverse the policies started under President Barack Obama to accommodate transgender troops.

"American taxpayers should ask the president, who is proud of his business savvy, why he's spending a dollar to buy a dime", Aaron Belkin, The Palm Center's director, said in a statement.


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