President Donald Trump’s plan to prohibit transgender people from serving in the U.S. military has been met with a lawsuit from two LGBTQ rights groups, The Hill reports.
The GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) filed a lawsuit on behalf of five transgender service members in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. They argue that Trump’s tweet announcing his intent to change the military’s policy on transgender service members violates their Fifth Amendment right to Equal Protection under the Due Process Clauses.
“The categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service lacks a rational basis, is arbitrary, and cannot be justified by sufficient federal interests,” reads the complaint from the groups, on behalf of plaintiffs Jane Doe 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
“Last year, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly. I was very relieved and came out as transgender to my commanding officers, who were supportive. My experience has been positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve. I am married and have three children, and the military has been my life. But now, I’m worried about my family’s future.” said one plaintiff in GLAD’s press release.
“Trump’s directive to exclude transgender people from military service has created a tidal wave of harms that have already been felt throughout our armed services. Transgender service members have been blindsided by this shift and are scrambling to deal with what it means for their futures and their families. The president’s mistreatment of these dedicated troops will serve only to weaken and demoralize our armed forces.” Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director, added.