Federal lawsuit filed over White House Transgender Military guidance

Attorneys from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) representing five service members who recently filed a federal lawsuit challenging President Trump’s transgender military ban issued the following statement in response to White House guidance provided to the Pentagon today.

This policy is a shameful slap in the face to people who put their lives on the line every day to defend our country,This policy is a shameful slap in the face to people who put their lives on the line every day to defend our country,” said Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director. “Our military is strongest when all people who are fit to serve have the opportunity to do so. This unprecedented policy amounts to a purge of qualified, contributing troops, and will serve only to undermine unit cohesion and weaken military readiness. We are moving quickly with our plaintiffs to see that a court puts a stop to this latest demonstration of President Trump playing politics with people’s lives.”

“Two weeks ago, NCLR filed a lawsuit with GLAD that has the power to stop Trump’s transgender military ban. This is a senseless and unprecedented attack on dedicated service members who have played by the rules,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director. “Our military already has standards and systems in place to ensure our troops are qualified and fit to serve. Trump’s ban is about politics, not military policy, and it will make our country less secure.”

GLAD and NCLR filed the federal lawsuit Doe v. Trump on August 9, on behalf of 5 transgender service members with nearly 60 years of combined military service across a range of military branches.

The plaintiffs are preparing to file a motion asking the court to block implementation of the ban while the suit proceeds.

The complaint in Doe v. Trump, NCLR and GLAD’s federal challenge to President Trump’s transgender military ban, can be viewed here. The lawsuit rests on claims of equal protection, due process, and estoppel, based on the inequity of the reversal of military policy after thousands of service members followed protocol and informed their chain of command that they are transgender. In addition to NCLR and GLAD, the plaintiffs in Doe v. Trump are represented by lawyers from Foley, Hoag LLP and WilmerHale.

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