Two lawsuits filed challenging Trump's transgender military ban

The President first announced his policy on Twitter on July 26 declaring that men and women who are transgender would no longer be allowed to continue serving in the military in "any capacity".

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals joining the military. LGBT groups accuse the president of bias. Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN [press release] filed a complaint [text] in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of a current army Staff Sergeant, two transgender individuals who wish to serve in the military, Human Rights Campaign and the Gender Justice League.

"It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out courageous transgender servicemembers and able recruits for discrimination", said Sarah McBride, press secretary for Human Rights Campaign, which joined Lambda Legal and OutServe in their complaint. "Thousands of current service members are transgender..."

Two weeks after Trump initially announced the ban, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, a legal nonprofit that defends gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sued in Washington, D.C., on behalf of five transgender service members with almost 60 years of combined military service.

The first lawsuit was filed Monday at a federal court in Seattle. According to the lawsuit, Stone was awarded an achievement medal for his deployment as well as multiple other commendations, including a flag letter of commendation and multiple recommendations for early promotion.

A presidential directive issued late Friday bars transgender individuals from enlisting, prohibits coverage for certain medical procedures and bans those already in the military from further service.

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The move came a year after the Pentagon under former President Barack Obama announced transgender military members would be allowed to serve openly.

Thousands of transgender Americans now serve in the armed forces, putting themselves in harm's way to protect the rights and freedoms in the US, the ACLU said in the complaint.

Offended parties in the two suits charge that Trump's strategy mandate abused their entitlement to rise to insurance and due process. John McCain said, "to force now serving transgender individuals to leave the military exclusively on the basis of their gender identity rather than medical and readiness standards that should always be at the heart of Department of Defense personnel policy".

Both lawsuits say the ban is a violation of equal protection and due process; the Lambda lawsuit also says it violates free speech protections.

"The goal and effect of the Ban and current accessions bar are to chill constitutionally protected First Amendment activity", the lawsuit says.

According to a Rand Corp study issued a year ago, there would be "minimal" effect on readiness, with only 10 to 130 active-duty members having reduced deployability because of gender transition-related treatments, the ACLU's suit says.

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The White House said it won't comment on pending litigation.

What the ban says: Trump's memo directed the Department of Defense to stop recruiting transgender soldiers and also cut off funding for sex reassignment surgeries by January 1, 2018.

"Allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly and providing them with necessary health care does nothing to harm military readiness or unit cohesion", Block said.

"The courageous transgender men and women who serve our country make our military stronger". Both of these complaints seek injunctive relief.

The memo called on Mattis to submit a plan to Trump by February 21, 2018, on how to implement the changes. On Friday, he issued guidelines to Defense Secretary Mattis to put the transgender military ban into practice.

The ACLU included screenshots of those tweets in its lawsuit. A Defense Department spokesman echoed that position at a briefing with reporters. "The most they can decide are the individual fates of now serving transgender personnel, whose presence will be inconsistent with new military policy".

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