“THE PRESIDENT’S MISTREATMENT OF THESE DEDICATED TROOPS WILL SERVE ONLY TO WEAKEN AND DEMORALIZE OUR ARMED FORCES.” – SHANNON MINTER (NCLR)
The anonymous plaintiffs, who are serving the Air Force, Army, and the Coast Guard are represented by two prominent LGBT+ organizations, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). The suit, which was filed on Wednesday, names President Trump directly along with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, and other national security officials.
According to Dunford, the military will not take action regarding the President’s tweets announcing the ban until a formal order is issued, however it has been reported that military lawyers ore convening to figure out how to handle the issue. At this time, the Pentagon has made no official comment on the lawsuit.
“The Commander in Chief has said that transgender service members — people who have served our nation with honor and distinction — are no longer welcome to serve. This unjustifiable reversal of policy is devastating to these soldiers and harmful to our country. These plaintiffs put their lives on the line every day for all of us. We can’t afford to lose a single one of them,” said Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project regarding the lawsuit. “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,” said Shannon Minter, a transgender legal expert and NCLR Legal Director. “The President’s mistreatment of these dedicated troops will serve only to weaken and demoralize our armed forces.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also informed the White House that it also intends to sue.
The five Plaintiffs in the lawsuit have served between three years and two decades while having served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.