ACLU Sues Trump Over Transgender Military Ban

President Trump, who claimed to have consulted "generals and military experts" when originally announcing the ban, was quickly sued by five active duty transgender military service people over the ban, who argued the ban violated their Constitutional rights.

Senator John McCain slammed President Donald Trump's order banning banning transgender people from entering the military.

Trump's guidance directs the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to develop plans for how best to deal with transgender service members who came out under the more trans-friendly policies put into place by the Obama administration. The President first announced his policy on Twitter on July 26 declaring that men and women who are transgender would no longer be allowed to continue serving in the military in "any capacity".

One federal lawsuit was filed in Baltimore by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland on behalf of six transgender individuals now serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Naval Reserve.

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Trump ordered the military to stop paying for transition-related medical expenses, unless the service members' health was in jeopardy, and the ACLU asked the judge to reverse that order immediately. The plaintiffs include Staff Sgt. Catherine Schmid, a 33-year-old woman now serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord who has applied to become an Army warrant officer.

In a press release about the OutServe-SLDN lawsuit, Lambda Leghal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said, "This ban not only wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving, it also compromises the safety and security of our country".

For example, Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone has served in the U.S. Navy for 9years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Trump also gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to draft a policy on trans people now serving.

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"Trump also directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to determine how to address transgender individuals now 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.

But there's no evidence that transgender servicemen and servicewomen hinder the effectiveness of the military, or its lethality, or disrupt unit cohesion or tax resources. A Defense Department spokesman echoed that position at a briefing with reporters. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do this job, you should be able to serve - no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation.

RAND estimated the number of transgender individuals now serving in the military to be between 1,320 and 6,630, out of 1.3 million total service members.

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.

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About 8,800 transgender men and women are now active members of the USA armed forces, according to the ACLU suit.


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