ACLU files lawsuit against President’s transgender military ban
MARYLAND — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Monday, challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
The lawsuit, Stone V. Trump, was filed on behalf of six members of the armed forces — Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker — after the President told the Pentagon to begin implementing changes.
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. They would do so by looking at their ability to deploy, CBS News reported.
The ban, the lawsuit said, violates Americans’ constitutional rights and singles out these individuals based on “uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.”
“Each and every claim made by President Trump to justify this ban can be easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense’s own review process. 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,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
The lawsuit also pointed to a 2016 Department of Justice report which “rejected the notion that medical costs, military readiness, or other factors presented any reason to discriminate against transgender service members, many of whom had already been serving with honor in silence for years.”