Five U.S. military personnel who self-identify as “transgender” have filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his ban of transgenders serving in the armed forces.
On July 26 Trump announced via a Twitter post that following “consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.” He explained that the military “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail.”
The five active duty personnel involved in the suit include three from the Army, one from the Air Force, and one Coast Guardsman. Reuters reported that all five “have come out as transgender to their commanding officers but are anonymous in the lawsuit, named only as Jane Doe, for fear of retribution, said Jennifer Levi, a lawyer from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. The group filed the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.”
The “Jane Doe” label is an indication that all five individuals are biologically male, but identify as female.
In addition to President Trump, the suit names Defense Secretary James Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, and other military leaders as defendants.
The suit charges that the ban violates the rights of the trans-soldiers to due process and equal protection under the law, and requests that the court issue an injunction to stop the ban as unconstitutional.
“Because they identified themselves as transgender in reliance on [President Obama's] earlier promise, 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,” attorneys for the trans-soldiers wrote in their court filing. “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.”
Another homosexual group, Lambda Legal, called the ban a “mean-spirited and discriminatory attack” on its LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community, and indicated that it would also sue the president. “Lambda Legal has a long history of fighting for LGBT service members and ... we’re more than ready to fight like h*** again,” said the group's spokesperson, Sasha Buchert. “See you in court, President Trump.”
Following President Trump's announcement, the pro-homosexual Palm Center, based in San Francisco, released a letter signed by a group of retired generals and admirals who supposedly oppose the ban. “Transgender troops have been serving honorably and openly for the past year, and have been widely praised by commanders,” the letter stated. “Eighteen foreign nations, including the UK and Israel, allow transgender troops to serve, and none has reported any detriment to readiness.”
In response, another group of retired U.S. military generals and admirals issued their own letter to the president in support of the transgender ban. “We write today to express our gratitude to you for making the extremely courageous decision to reverse President Obama’s transgender social experiment,” wrote the officers. “There may be an enormous amount of vitriol directed at you for making this policy correction, but please know that overturning this policy may have done more in the long-term to save the culture and war-fighting capacity of the U.S. military than perhaps any other military policy you will adopt as president.”
Among those signing the letter were retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a past commander of the Army's Delta Force; retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney; retired Army Maj. Gen. Gary L. Harrell, also a former Delta Force commander; retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely; retired Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, past head of the Army's Pacific Command; and retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. Dean Lee.