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Civil-rights groups ready to file lawsuits if Trump bans transgendered from military
President Trump tweeted Wednesday that he will reinstitute the ban on transgendered persons from the military, but civil-rights and LGBT-advocacy groups argue that this ban would not even be legal.
By Miriam Griffin
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump tweeted Wednesday that he will reinstitute the ban on transgendered persons from the military, but civil-rights and LGBT-advocacy groups argue that this ban would not even be legal. Several pro-LGBT attorneys told the Huffington Post that if Trump does follow through on reviving a transgender ban, he will face lawsuits.
"The federal courts have been pretty consistent that when you discriminate against someone based on gender identity, that's a form of unlawful sex discrimination," said Emily Martin, the general counsel and vice president of the National Women's Law Center.
Jillian Weiss, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said that her organization is already preparing legal strategies just in case. She said that the 14th Amendment, which ensures equal freedoms and legal protections to all U.S. citizens, would preclude Trump from banning any whole group of people from serving in the military.
The U.S. government enacted the 14th Amendment after the Civil War to prohibit discrimination against freed slaves, but courts have affirmed that the Amendment safeguards against gender discrimination, as well. The fight to ensure that gays and lesbians could serve in the military successfully cited this amendment in court proceedings.
So far, Trump has not made any formal policy proposal toward banning transgendered persons from the military. Nor has he consulted with military leaders, according to Pentagon sources.
The military had banned transgendered persons until last year, when a new Pentagon directive stated that transgendered persons were free to enlist and to serve openly. But Trump-appointed Defense Secretary Jerome Mattis ordered a six-month postponement of the order until July 1 and instructed each branch to develop and implement transgender-integration training.