NCLR and GLAD hit Trump's transgender military ban with first lawsuit

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Five transgender people in the U.S. military have launched a legal bid to block a ban announced by President Trump on Twitter last month.

In July, President Trump tweeted that the US military would no longer accept transgender enlistees or allow transgender personnel continue to serve, a move that could affect an estimated 11,000 troops in active-duty and the reserves. One big news story today throws those tweets in a new light: On the same morning Trump suddenly tweeted out a change in transgender policy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was raiding the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation. Between them, they have almost 60 years of service in the Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army. "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". "Since that time", the service members' lawsuit states, "Plaintiffs, along with thousands of servicemembers, have followed protocol in informing their chain of command that they are transgender".

The day after Trump tweeted the announcement, which surprised the Department of Defense and caused alarm among trans service members, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said there had been no official change to military policy on transgender troops, and there would be no change without an official order.

"My experience has been positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve". 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".

The service members, who aren't named in the suit, argue Trump's ban is unconstitutional and it could lead to early termination or no renewals of contracts.

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This undermining of transgender service members' expectation of continued military service amounts to a violation of the right to equal protection and due process under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit alleges. So far, the Pentagon has not issued any official directive, as it has not yet received guidance from the White House.

Five transgender women who served their country for about a half century collectively - and have done so openly since 2016 - volleyed a federal court offensive Wednesday at the president of the United States and his senior military leaders.

In a tweet on July 26, the president declared that trans personnel could not serve in the Armed Forces "in any capacity".

Estimates on how many transgender people now serve in the military vary widely, but Rand Corp. recently estimated there were more than 6,600 on the high end.

The only notable news related to any prospective ban appears to be a report from ABC News on Friday, Aug. 4, which stated the White House and DoD are working together to craft a new policy regarding transgender service members.

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