Friday, 18 August, 2017

Trump's Trans Military Ban Now Policy

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Ben Pena | 09 August, 2017, 20:56

The president's three-tweet plan to stop transgender individuals from serving in the military has yet to be formally implemented, but attorneys for the service members have asked a federal court in Washington to block it immediately.

Lambda legal is one of the largest and oldest legal groups that advocate for LGBT+ rights in the U.S. and now the group is taking aim at the transphobic policy that was announced by Trump on Twitter last week.

While it remains unclear whether Trump has issued official guidance to the Defense Department on his discriminatory order, thousands of trans military families are left reeling over their own futures as uncertainty over its implementation looms.

Each of the five anonymous transgender plaintiffs behind the lawsuit, whose identifies are withheld for fear of retribution, serve in various capacities in the armed forces. Basically, said a source, "the administration want to get rid of transgender servicemembers as fast as they can".

The five plaintiffs, who are unnamed, "came out as transgender to their commanding officers in reliance on the Defense Department's June 2016 announcement that transgender people can now openly serve in the military, and have "collectively have served this nation for decades in various branches of the United States military". While such a ban has not yet gone into effect, the lawsuit explains this guidance from the commander-in-chief has already harmed transgender people who are in the military by taking away their "reasonable expectation of continued service". That flies in the face of a Rand study commissioned in 2016 by then-Sec. of Defense Ash Carter that said there were "few obstacles" to lifting the existing ban against trans service. Another is an active duty airman who has serve in the U.S. Air Force for nearly 20 years and has undertaken multiple tours of duty overseas, including two in Iraq.

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Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, said in a statement, "This unjustifiable reversal of policy is devastating to these soldiers and harmful to our country".

LawNewz.com reached out to the White House for comment, but they have yet to respond. These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us.

On Friday, more than 50 House Democrats sent a letter to Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, asking them not to comply with the ban on transgender service members.

In response to the report, Lambda Legal says it intends to sue Trump over the trans ban, calling the policy in the press release dishonorable to the estimated 15,000 transgender military service members actively serving today.

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