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29 August 2017, 12:37 | Colleen Roy
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According to WJZ-TV, the directive allows the Pentagon to reject transgender individuals for service, and to decide the fate of those already serving in the military.
In late July, Trump first floated his plan for a transgender military ban in a series of tweets that caught many, including military leaders, by surprise.
The ACLU says an estimated 8,800 or more transgender people now serve in the military, and asserts that Trump's concerns about military preparedness, unit cohesion and medical costs are baseless. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail". "The ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, and a desire to harm transgender people".
Lambda Legal and OUTServe-SLDN joined forces to file "on behalf of two individuals who seek to join the military (Ryan Karnoski of Seattle and Drew Layne of Corpus Christi), one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer (Army Staff Sgt. Cathrine Schmid), the Human Rights Campaign and Gender Justice League, which is headquartered in Seattle".
Today's lawsuit against President Trump, the United States of America, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the U.S. Department of Defense is based on the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection, due process and free speech for all.
"We do not comment on active or pending litigation", Ninio Fetalvo, a White House spokesman, said in an email. The petitioner includes Staff Sgt. Catherine Schmid, a 33-year-old woman, who is now serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord who has applied to become an Army warrant officer.
The transgender ban would stop allowing transgender service members from continuing their service in the military, receiving medically necessary healthcare, and banning men and woman who are transgender from enlisting all together. "The president claims in tweets transgender service costs money and military readiness". Not only do groups like the ACLU and Lambda Legal believe Trump's trans ban to be highly discriminatory and offensive, they believe it is also unconstitutional. "The reality is the Department of Defense concluded after years of study that is baseless".
The ACLU cites a 2014 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law that estimates 8,800 active members of the USA military are transgender. If a person is willing to serve our country in uniform and meets all the basic standards and requirements, it doesn't matter what that person's gender identity is - just like race, religion and sexual orientation doesn't matter.
Here are five things to know about the new guidance, including the military's hesitations about the Obama policy, other things banned by the guidance, and the lawsuit filed in response.
According to a Rand Corp. study issued a year ago, there would be "minimal" impacts 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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