Five service members have filed a lawsuit against President Trump in an effort to challenge his reinstatement of the government’s ban on openly-transgendered persons serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Plaintiffs have undergone medical treatment for the purpose of gender transition,” the complaint, filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, outlines. “Plaintiffs have served honorably and successfully in the military since coming out as transgender, and their transgender status has not had any detrimental effect on their ability to serve or to fulfill their duties.”
“Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on [the government’s] earlier promise [of lifting the ban], Plaintiffs have lost the stability and certainty they had in their careers and benefits, including post-military and retirement benefits that depend on the length of their service,” it states.
The lawsuit asserts that Trump’s ban violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment. It seeks a court injunction against the prohibition and a declaratory judgment that the exclusion is unconstitutional.
“Execution of the president’s directive will result in an end to service by openly transgender service members and has already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing Plaintiffs’ reasonable expectation of continued service,” the complaint contends.
In addition to Trump, the U.S. Army, Air Force and Coast Guard are also included as defendants in the legal challenge, as well as Defense Secretary James Mattis.