Transgender military personnel sue Trump service ban

Five military service members who are transgendered jointly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump over his ban on transgendered persons from joining the armed forces.
By Jason Spencer | Aug 11, 2017
Five military service members who are transgendered jointly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump over his ban on transgendered persons from joining the armed forces. The LGBTQ groups National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders also joined them in the suit, the first official legal challenge to Trump's July 26th declaration via Twitter that transgendered Americans were no longer welcome in the U.S. armed forces.

Trump did not consult any Pentagon officials before sending this tweet. The Pentagon has consequently declined to take any action on it until Trump sends them a formal policy pronouncement directing them to prohibit transgender service members.

The plaintiffs in Wednesday's lawsuit cite Trump's refusal to pursue normal procedural protocols on the issue as a central crux of their case: By issuing this ban on Twitter instead of giving the military leadership a chance to first evaluate the ban and decide whether and how to go through with it, Trump deprived transgendered service members of their Constitutionally protected right to due process and equal protection under the law.

The plaintiffs also assert that the government cannot legally retract rights it has already granted to transgendered persons who are now serving in the military. The military first allowed transgendered persons to serve last year, and as of today more than 15,000 transgendered persons are known to be servingand on its face value, the ban would force all of them to retire.

"Trump's attempts to reinstate a ban have blindsided thousands of transgender service members who are now scrambling to determine what this means for their families and their futures," NCLR legal director Shannon Minter told Slate.

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