Five anonymous active-duty transgenders have sued President Donald Trump over his tweet series announcing a ban on transgenders serving in the military.
The legal groups National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are representing these anonymous transgender “Jane Does” in alleging that Trump’s Twitter announcement violated two parts of the Fifth Amendment — the Equal Protection and the Due Process Clause, The Washington Post reports.
The groups filed the suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington. So far, the Pentagon has not issued any official directive, as it has not yet received guidance from the White House.
However, the suit states that “upon information and belief, the White House turned [Trump’s] decision into official guidance, approved by the White House counsel’s office, to be communicated to the Department of Defense.”
The Obama administration repealed the ban on transgenders serving openly in the military in June 2016, and since then, the services have been preparing policies to allow transgender recruits to join. At the urging of top service officials, Secretary of Defense James Mattis pushed back acceptance of transgender recruits by six months to give the services more time to adjust. Well before that six-month period hit, Trump tweeted out his intent to fully remove transgenders from serving openly in the military, citing issues like medical costs and disruption to combat effectiveness.
All five transgenders stated they came out as transgender precisely because of the ban repeal.
“Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on defendants’ earlier promise, plaintiffs have lost the stability and certainty they had in their careers and benefits, including post-military and retirement benefits that depend on the length of their service,” the text of the suit states.
Following the ban, several active-duty transgenders publicly stated they would oppose Trump’s decision, including Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, a female to male transgender, who dared the Pentagon to kick her out.
“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Ireland told Air Force Times. “You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”
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