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Trump's Transgender Military Ban: 5 Things You Need to Know

Trump's Transgender Military Ban: 5 Things You Need to Know”

Late Friday President Trump signed a memo dictating guidance on implementation of the ban.

- Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN have filed a lawsuit challenging the trans military ban.

The lawsuit was filed just days after Trump formally ordered the Pentagon to ban the recruitment of openly transgender people and to determine whether those already serving should be allowed to remain. After concluding these would be minimal, the Pentagon permitted transgender troops to serve openly and receive transition-related healthcare in the summer of 2016; it planned to allow new transgender recruits to join the military this summer. "Men and women who are transgender with the courage and capacity to serve deserve more from their commander-in-chief".

The American Civil Liberties Union sued separately in Maryland on behalf of six transgender soldiers, some of whom have served for decades.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.

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One of the Seattle plaintiffs is 33-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Cathrine Schmid, who has served for more than 12 years and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of the city. They argue that the ban violates the Fifth Amendment. She said Trump's policy is a "slap in the face to service members who have devoted their lives to protecting the country".

The lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Seattle and Baltimore, say the ban issued on Friday violated United States constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

It halted years of efforts to eliminate barriers to military service based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including an "Open Service Directive" created to let transgender people serve without fear of discharge.

"The Trump administration has provided no evidence that this pronouncement was based on an analysis of the actual cost and disruption allegedly caused by allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly", ACLU lawyers said. The Rand Corporation study commissioned by the Defense Department showed that there are an estimated 1,320-to 6,630-transgender troops serving across all branches of the military. "It deprives our armed forces of those wanting to serve at a time when the military is already facing threats on multiple fronts".

Two separate lawsuits have been filed against the Trump administration for trying to institute an across-the-board ban prohibiting transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. "We are proud to be a plaintiff on behalf of our transgender members now serving or wishing to enlist or commission, but who find their careers and their future under attack - and we thank all of the plaintiffs, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN for their leadership in challenging this unsafe directive".

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