Transgender service members file lawsuit against Donald Trump for military ban

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Published: August 29, 2017 6:07:06 AM

Transgender service members filed a suit against Unites States President Donald Trump, challenging his memo, which barred the transgender people from enrolling in the military service.

Transgender, Donald Trump, United States, Trump, Peter Renn, US military, PentagonTransgender service members filed a suit against Unites States President Donald Trump, challenging his memo, which barred the transgender people from enrolling in the military service. (Image: IE)

Transgender service members filed a suit against Unites States President Donald Trump, challenging his memo, which barred the transgender people from enrolling in the military service. “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 in a statement, quoted the CNN.

“Thousands of current service members are transgender, and many have been serving openly, courageously and successfully in the US military for more than a year — not to mention the previous decades when many were forced to serve in silence,” he added. The lawsuit is filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington. The petitioner includes Staff Sgt. Catherine Schmid, a 33-year-old woman , who is currently serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord who has applied to become an Army warrant officer.

The paper filed in the court argued that the President’s unilateral decision was made without any meaningful deliberative process and added that it was directly contrary to the considered judgment of the military. The NGO, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also filed separate lawsuit in the United Stated District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of transgender service personnel, including Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone and others.

“The Trump administration has provided no evidence that this pronouncement was based on an analysis of the actual cost and disruption allegedly caused by allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly,” ACLU lawyers said. The presidential memorandum signed on August 25 by Trump, also bans the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment to transgender individuals currently serving in the military.

“Trump also directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant,” CNN reported citing a White House official.

Trump’s memo instructs Secretary of Defense James Mattis to further explore how to handle transgender people currently serving in the armed forces and orders the Pentagon to stop paying for gender reassignment surgeries, except in cases that are already in progress to “protect the health of an individual.” The White House official who briefed reporters on the memo declined to say whether current transgender troops would be allowed to remain in the military under those policy guidelines.

The memo also requests the Pentagon to develop an implementation plan for the ban by February 21 2018, to be put in place on March 23, 2018, the reports said. Last month, Trump wrote on Twitter that transgender troops could no longer serve “in any capacity,” abruptly announcing to reinstate the ban. The move reversed an Obama administration policy implemented in July 2016 that allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military. Trump’s transgender ban policy faces intense opposition from top Republican senators, dozens of retired generals and admirals and advocacy groups.

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