Advocacy groups sue Trump over proposed transgender military ban

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It says: "President Trump's directive to exclude transgender people from military service discriminates against Plaintiffs based on their sex and transgender status, without lawful justification, in violation of the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment".

Trump said on Twitter on July 26 that the US government "won't acknowledge or enable transgender people to serve in any way" in the military, an inversion of Pentagon approach that the claim said was made without counseling senior military authorities. Until such an order was officially delivered, he said, the military would continue to allow transgender members to serve, uninterrupted.

The lawsuit filed by GLAD and the National Center Lesbian Rights isn't the only legal initiative planned against Trump's anti-trans military policy.

Five transgender USA service members on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, seeking to block him from barring transgender people from serving in the nation's armed forces. The group is made up of three soldiers in the U.S. Army, one airman in the U.S. Air Force, and one member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

LGBT publication Washington Blade reported last week that guidance on the ban was approved by the White House Counsel's Office on Friday, to be sent to the Department of Defense.

There was considerable political pushback after Trump issued the tweets announcing his plan to ban transgender service members. "Transgender service members have been blindsided by this shift and are scrambling to deal with what it means for their futures and their families", said Minter in a statement.

Levi, who noted that each plaintiff notified the military of the fact they are transgender following a June 2016 announcement that they could serve openly, said lawyers are seeking an injunction to halt the president's efforts to essentially undo that 2016 policy change. Like many others, the lawsuit explains, they have built their lives around their military service.

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However, the ban is yet to be formally implemented, but attorneys for the service members have asked a federal court in Washington to block it immediately, reports The New York Times. This week, LGBTQ legal group Lambda Legal published a letter announcing they were preparing to sue.

A policy to permit transgender service had been given initial approval by the US Defense Department when Barack Obama was in power.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon would not change the current policy until the White House issues further "guidance".

Even if the administration has not yet transformed Trump's Twitter announcement into policy, it remained possible that it will do so by the time a judge has to decide whether the new lawsuit is ripe for adjudication or should be dismissed, experts said. If enacted, approximately 15,000 transgender people already part of the United States military would be affected by the ban, Slate reported.

The White House and the Pentagon said they don't remark on pending case.

Estimates on how many transgender people now serve in the military vary widely, but Rand Corp. recently estimated there were more than 6,600 on the high end.

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