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ACLU files lawsuit against Donald Trump's trans military ban

30 August 2017

The second lawsuit was filed in Baltimore federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of six transgender people serving in several branches of the military.

In contrast, Trump announced on Twitter he'd ban transgender people from the military after an apparent lack of consultation with military leaders.

The directive not only bans transgender individuals from serving in the military, but it also gives Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the ability to kick out transgender soldiers now serving, and it directs the military to halt paying for gender confirmation surgery. He also gave to the Pentagon the authority to decide the future of openly transgender people already serving. He lied to the LGBT community and singled out many of our potential transgender military volunteers by denying them a chance to become members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Renn's claim is documented in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

"The Trump organization has given no confirmation that this declaration depended on an investigation of the genuine cost and interruption professedly caused by permitting men and ladies who are transgender to serve transparently", ACLU attorneys said.

The Department of Defense concluded in 2016 that there was no basis for the military to exclude transgender men and women from serving openly, subject to the same fitness requirements as other Americans, the ACLU said.

The initial news came as a shock, not only in the way it was presented, but also because the Obama administration only recently rolled back a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military in 2016.

White House officials said Monday that they do not comment on pending litigation.

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Trump signed a memorandum August 25 that officially codified the ban and provided implementation guidance to the Defense Department. "Transgender military members... have done more to serve and protect their country than Donald Trump ever will".

Both lawsuits argued that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution which guarantees equal protection and due process under the Fifth Amendment.

Both lawsuits discuss the methodic detail with which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the course of one year under the Obama administration examined the issue of transgender service - a process that included commissioning a study by the RAND Corp. that found no drawbacks either to military readiness or medical costs.

The lawsuit questions the premise for the ban cited in the president's tweets.

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military", the president tweeted.

Schmid, who has served in South Korea, Germany and Iraq, claims that Trump's ban on transgender people joining the military has halted her appointment as a warrant officer.

Jennifer Levi, director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders' Transgender Rights Project, said Monday that Trump's policy is a "slap in the face to service members who have devoted their lives to protecting the country".

ACLU files lawsuit against Donald Trump's trans military ban