Lambda Legal and an LGBTQ Military Group Are Suing Trump Over His Transgender Ban
The LGBTQ advocacy group Lambda Legal has pledged to sue President Trump over his proposed ban of transgender soldiers from the military. They will reportedly file their lawsuit alongside OutServe-SLDN, an association for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans, and have begun collecting trans military member testimony in search of plaintiffs.
In a statement posted yesterday, Lamda Legal said, “Lambda Legal has a long history of fighting for LGBT service members and, teaming up with OutServe-SLDN, we’re more than ready to fight like hell again. See you in court, President Trump.”
The White House has already prepared policy to ban trans soldiers
The Washington Blade reports that the White House has already begun creating the policy to officially ban transgender soldiers. It’s titled “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out” and has apparently “passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night.”
Sources familiar with the planning say the policy will encourage early retirement of current transgender service members, “usher out any currently enlisted personnel after their contract is up” and fire any trans officers up for promotion. The new policy will also allegedly allow trans members to continue serving but will not protect them from “harassment or other efforts to get them to quit.”
A source told the Blade, “The administration wants to get rid of transgender service members as fast as they can.”
Some Republicans and military oppose Trump’s transgender military ban
In a recent statement, OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matthew F. Thorn called Trump’s ban a “purge based on bigotry, motivated by agents of an ideology that has no concern for the national defense.”
“It is inconceivable that a man with a demonstrated incompetence in managing the small staff of the White House should have any credibility when it comes to making sound personnel decisions that will effect a fighting force of more than 1.8 million men and women.”
Although Trump said that he decided to ban transgender soldiers because of “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he didn’t consult any currently serving military leaders before issuring his decision. Furthermore, the estimated $8.4 million cost of transgender military healthcare represents a mere 0.14% of the military’s $6 billion total healthcare budget.
Since his decision, 56 retired military generals have written an open letter opposing Trump’s ban. Seven Republican Senators have also publicly disapproved of Trump’s ban.
Although the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, pledged to support the 13 transgender troops currently under his command, his pledge came when Trump’s ban had only been issued via Twitter. If Zukunft continues to defy the president’s order once it is official policy, he may be forced to resign.
Featured image by Zerbor via iStock