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Transgender armed services members sue Trump over military ban

Transgender armed services members sue Trump over military ban”

The presidential memorandum signed on August 25 by Trump, also bans the Department of Defence from using its resources to provide medical treatment to transgender individuals now serving in the military.

It described the ban as "cruel" and being based on "myths and stereotypes" and a "desire to harm transgender people".

In Friday's memorandum, Trump directed the departments of Defense and Homeland Security "to determine how to address transgender individuals now serving" and to halt the use of resources to fund "sex-reassignment surgical procedures".

The ACLU says an estimated 8,800 or more transgender people now serve in the military and asserts that Trump's concerns about military preparedness, unit cohesion and medical costs are baseless.

What Lambda Legal says: "President Trump is denying courageous men and women the opportunity to serve our country without any legitimate justification whatsoever", Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said in a statement.

During a time when every qualified person is needed to help defend and protect our country, we should not be turning away people from the military because they are transgender, Heinz said in a statement.

The lawsuit is filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

"He has chose to use the service of men and women who are transgender as a political football, and the cruelty of that decision and policy is hard to understate", said David Rocah, with the ACLU.

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Transgender servicemembers were granted the right to serve openly in June 2016, under President Barack Obama's administration.

A White House official who briefed reporters about the memo declined to specify whether transgender service men and women who are now active in the military could continue to serve based on such criteria.

But the lawsuit filed by OutServe-SLDN and Lambda Legal argues the military ban violates not just the Fifth Amendment right to due process, but also the First Amendment right to free speech of people who openly identify as transgender.

The suit responds to news that broke Friday regarding the potential ban announced on Twitter by Donald Trump last month.

Meanwhile, Lambda Legal has teamed up with OutServe-SLDN to file a second lawsuit in Seattle on behalf of and Army staff sergeant and two young trans people who wish to join the military.

Trump signed a directive on August 25 formally banning the recruitment of trans servicemen, alleging trans troops are a disruption to the military and burden the government with unnecessary medical expenses. A Rand Corporation study released previous year concluded that transgender troops would have a "minimal impact" on military readiness, study author Agnes Gereben Schaefer told the NewsHour. On Friday, he issued guidelines to Defense Secretary Mattis to put the transgender military ban into practice.

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the plaintiffs in the case this week intend to file a motion for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of Trump's ban as litigation is underway.

The ACLU said 8,800 transgender people serve in the military.



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