On Friday, March 23, President Trump issued a memorandum adopting recommendations from Defense Secretary James Mattis stating, among other things, that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”
The new memorandum expressly revokes the August 25, 2017 memorandum of the same title and provides that “The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.”
Memorandum — March 23, 2018
Trump Approves New Limits on Transgender Troops in the Military — New York Times
On Friday, August 25 U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum directing “the military not to move forward with an Obama-era plan that would have allowed transgender individuals to be recruited into the armed forces.”
The memo “also bans the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals currently serving in the military.”
On Monday, August 28 Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging “the constitutionality of an official federal policy of discrimination against transgender people regarding military service.” The lawsuit was filed on behalf of “two individuals who seek to join the military; one current service member who seeks appointment as an officer; the Human Rights Campaign…; and Gender Justice League.”
According to the lawsuit, “Dripping with animus, the Ban and the current accessions bar violate the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment and the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. They are unsupported by any compelling, important, or even rational justification.”
We do not support this ban against transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military.
Karnoski, et al v. Trump — complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief
Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN Sue President Trump to Reverse Transgender Military Service Ban — Lambda Legal
Trump signs directive banning transgender military recruits — CNN
Trump announces plan to ban transgender individuals from U.S. military service (USA) — Gender Identity Watch
On August 9, 2017 the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit on behalf of five service members who identify as transgender challenging the President Trump’s directive to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. According to the complaint, “The directive to reinstate a ban on open service by transgender people violates both the Equal Protection component of the Fifth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
The lawsuit also notes, “The categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service lacks a rational basis, is arbitrary, and cannot be justified by sufficient federal interests.”
The Plaintiffs seek “a declaratory judgment that the President’s directive to categorically exclude transgender people from military service is unconstitutional;” a “preliminary injunction prohibiting the categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service;” a “permanent injunction prohibiting the categorical exclusion of transgender
people from military service;” and “reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees.”
LGBTQ rights groups sue Trump over transgender military ban — thehill.com
NCLR and GLAD File Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Directive to Reinstate Ban on Transgender Military Service — NCLR
Jane Doe 1-5 v. Trump — complaint filed August 9, 2017
In a series of Tweets on July 26, U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“After 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. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming………victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Trump to reinstate US military ban on transgender people — CNN
The New York State Restoration of Honor Act provides a mechanism to compensate gay and lesbian veterans expelled from the military under Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The bill conflates sexual orientation – which was the subject of DOMA – with gender identity, which was not addressed by DOMA.
The all-male Veterans for Peace executive committee released a Transgender Position Statement that does not address how concerns about how transgender politics and policies adversely affects girls and women. In response, the Women’s Alliance issued its own statement challenging the conservative, MRA position adopted by VFP. You can read the Women’s Alliance statement here.