Lawsuit against Donald Trump's transgender military ban filed by five service members

Posted August 11, 2017

Although no general was ever identified as having been consulted, the Twitter posts said, "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow". LGBT rights advocates have pointed to studies that have reached opposite conclusions.

The plaintiffs are a Coast Guard member who has written a prospective letter of resignation; an Air Force active-duty service member of almost 20 years who served twice in Iraq; and three Army soldiers. As of now, the DoD's website continues to include a transgender policy saying, "transgender Service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military exclusively for being transgender individuals". The suit says that all five plaintiffs followed the proper protocol in coming out as transgender to their superiors following the 2016 lift on the ban.

"Last year, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly", one anonymous plaintiff said in a statement. Their military experienced ranged from three years to two decades, and included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 'But now, I'm anxious about my family's future'.

Plaintiffs want a federal judge to declare Trump's ban on transgender troops unconstitutional and issue an injunction blocking it from taking effect. They also claim all five plaintiffs were in the midst of "transitioning" to different genders, and that Trump's reversal is effectively pulling the rug out from under them-a legal principle known as estoppel.

The lawsuit asserts that Trump's ban violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment.

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Though the brass has refused to implement any change without orders from a more usual channel than Twitter, the complaint names as defendants Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke. So far, the Pentagon has not issued any official directive, as it has not yet received guidance from the White House.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it told the White House on Tuesday it intends to sue, and requested that relevant documents be preserved in preparation for the lawsuit. Another plaintiff, who began seeking medical care related to her gender transition previous year relying on the fact she was allowed to serve openly, has been "counting on the compensation and benefits accrued during that time to pay for further education and training to begin a civilian career, but she fears that the ban may result in early termination of her contract".

That permitted transgender members now serving to come out openly; openly transgender people are set to be allowed to join the military starting next year.

Until official means are made to change the policy, Dunford added, "we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect". "We have been awaiting confirmation that the White House has transmitted a final guidance, directive or other instructions to the Department of Defense, which, to the best of our knowledge, has not yet occurred".