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Groups sue Trump over transgender military policy
09 August 2017, 08:54 | Melissa Porter
Flickr Screengrab via LambdaLegal Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso
Trump's tweets on July 26 declared that the USA government "will not accept or allow".
For now, a 2016 policy established by the Obama administration that allows transgender people to serve openly remains in effect.
"We believe any serious or credible review of the law and the facts in the present case make it clear that the President's proposed ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces will weaken, not strengthen our military, and is blatantly unconstitutional", the letter states.
Two advocacy groups sued President Trump in federal court Wednesday over his declaration on Twitter last month that the Pentagon would a reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the USA military.
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. "Trump's efforts to reinstate the ban are already harming service members, who have been blindsided and are scrambling to deal with what this means for their families and their futures-including the loss of job security, retirement benefits, healthcare, and other serious harms".
But the new report shows that discharging and replacing the estimated 12,800 transgender service members who are already serving would cost over 100 times more than providing medically necessary health care to the military's transgender troops. "By comparison, the Pentagon each year spends $6 billion of its $610 billion budget on medical costs for active-duty service members". "I was very relieved and came out as transgender to my commanding officers, who were supportive".
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".
Two advocacy groups have filed suit against President Donald Trump on Fifth Amendment grounds after the President said on Twitter that he was directing the nation's military to disallow transgender individuals from military service. These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us.
Lambda Legal has a long history of fighting for LGBT service members and, teaming up with OutServe-SLDN, we're more than ready to fight like hell again.
The White House press office and the Department of Defense didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The suit names Trump as a defendant, along with several top military officials, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford. We condemn the intent of any person who would make it the mission of United States military to discriminate against the very citizens they are charged to defend.
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