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

29 August 2017

Two groups have filed lawsuits after President Donald Trump announced last month that the USA military would not allow transgender people to serve and then followed through on Friday with a directive that formally re-instituted the ban.

The case has been brought on behalf of several transgender personnel by Lambda Legal, a long established group campaigning on behalf of the LGBT community and OutServe which represents members who are in the armed forces. "The [ban] singles out transgender service members for different treatment by denying them coverage for medically necessary care that is inherently related to their transgender status and gender nonconformity", the complaint said. That "open service" directive stated no otherwise-qualified service member could be discharged or denied re-enlistment exclusively because of his or her gender identity.

Stone, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, has served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. All service members have a statutory entitlement to full doctor-recommended medical care.

Five members of the armed forces earlier this month sued Trump and his top military brass seeking to halt the reversal of the transgender policy put in place by the Obama administration. The second federal lawsuit, Stone v. Trump, was filed in Maryland by the ACLU of Maryland.

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Transgender members of the United States armed services have gone to court to challenge Donald Trump's ban on their joining the military.

Donald Trump's attempt to exclude transgender people from military service is based on "discredited myths" and "moral disapproval" and violates the constitution, six transgender service members claimed in a lawsuit filed Monday. They argue that the ban violates the Fifth Amendment. Now, Trump has instructed Secretary Mattis to extend the deadline indefinitely - effectively halting transgender patriots from committing to service, before they ever had the chance.

Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, said on Monday the filing of multiple lawsuits was a good thing because so many people nationwide were affected by the policy change.

Trump first announced the ban through Twitter in late July.

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He had tweeted his intention to impose the ban, but the policy memo wasn't released until the end of last week.

According to WJZ-TV, the directive allows the Pentagon to reject transgender individuals for service, and to decide the fate of those already serving in the military.

The prior ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the military was longstanding until June 2016, when it was overturned former President Barack Obama's administration.

"Men and women who are transgender with the courage and capacity to serve deserve more from their commander-in-chief", Block said. As promised, both groups have filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the ban. Trump has made a decision to reinstate the ban but there is a strong opposition. Studies and advocates place the number of trans people now serving in the armed forces between 1,300 and 11,000.

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