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LGBTQ Advocates To Fight President Trump's Transgender Military Ban

30 August 2017

"Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration's ban on military service by transgender individuals". In Friday's update, Trump coordinated the divisions of Defense and Homeland Security "to decide how to address transgender people as of now serving" and to stop the utilization of assets to finance "sex-reassignment surgical techniques".

Trump has directed the military to reverse an Obama-era policy that allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military.

This ban is disrespectful and dishonorable to the thousands of transgender men and women who are boldly and bravely serving our country, said Lambda Legal staff attorney Sasha Buchert, a transgender military veteran, in a written statement.

"There is also no evidence to support your claim about the "tremendous medical costs" associated with transgender service members", the letter reads. That case is in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"The fearless transgender men and women who serve our country make our military stronger". Stone revealed his transgender status to military personnel in 2016 after the Defense Department concluded there was no basis for the military to exclude transgender service members.

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Trump's ban forces openly transgender people out of the armed forces, makes a delay on allowing transgender people to enlist permanent and denies payment for gender reassignment surgery under the USA military health system. Trump has defended the ban with a flimsy claim that the costs associated with healthcare for transgender individuals are too high for the military to cover. "A huge number of current administration individuals are transgender, and many have been serving transparently, boldly and effectively in the United States military for over a year - also the earlier decades when many were compelled to serve peacefully", he said. It was filed on behalf of an army staff sergeant, two transgender individuals who wanted to join the military and several groups who argue that the ban "wrongfully prevents wrongfully prevents patriotic, talented Americans from serving" the country.

The ACLU says that in addition to the plaintiffs included in its suit, they've been hearing from transgender individuals intending to enlist in the military as well as those who now serve whose gender reassignment surgeries will be cancelled under the ban's provisions. It argues that the ban violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, as well as due process and free speech.

Both lawsuits discuss the methodic detail with which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the course of one year under the Obama administration examined the issue of transgender service - a process that included commissioning a study by the RAND Corp. that found no drawbacks either to military readiness or medical costs.

Lawyers from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders also filed a lawsuit against the ban earlier this month along with a team from Wilmer Pickering Hale & Dorr. The military can, however, continue to pay for the surgery for current members if it would put the health of individuals in transition in danger.

LGBTQ Advocates To Fight President Trump's Transgender Military Ban