Five transgender service members on
Wednesday sued President Donald Trump over his plan to prohibit
In a series of tweets late last month,
Trump declared that the military will no longer “accept or allow”
transgender troops to serve “in any capacity.” The president
said that the ban was needed to avoid “tremendous medical costs and
disruption” posed by transgender people serving in the military.
LGBT rights advocates have pointed to studies that have reached
The National Center for Lesbian Rights
(NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed the
lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Columbia.
According to NCLR and GLAD, the five
anonymous plaintiffs, identified in the complaint as “Jane Doe,”
have jointly contributed nearly 60 years of service in the Army, Air
Force and Coast Guard.
While the Pentagon has said that it
will not act until it receives further guidance on the issue from the
White House, plaintiffs argue that they are already paying the price.
Trump's announcement “upset the reasonable expectations of
plaintiffs and thousands of other transgender service members and the
men and women with whom they serve and fight,” the lawsuit states.
It “has already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to
plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs' reasonable
expectations of continued service.”
One of the plaintiffs said that after
coming out they worry about their family.
“Last year, the Department of Defense
announced that transgender people could serve openly,” said one
plaintiff. “I was very relieved and came out as transgender to my
commanding officers, who were supportive. My experience has been
positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve. I am
married and have three children, and the military has been my life.
But now, I'm worried about my family's future.”
Plaintiffs want a federal judge to
declare Trump's ban on transgender troops unconstitutional and issue
an injunction blocking it from taking effect.
Two additional groups, Lambda Legal and
OutServe-SLDN, have also said they would sue the Trump administration
over the ban.