Attorneys from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging Donald Trump’s directive to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military on behalf of five active duty servicemembers.
The plaintiffs have a combined 60 years of military service, said GLAD and NCLR in a press release:
“Last year, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly,” said one plaintiff. “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.”
In June 2016, after comprehensive review of the issue by military experts and others, the Department of Defense announced that transgender people could serve openly in all branches of the U.S. military. The Department concluded that the ban served no legitimate purpose and that open service by transgender people would serve the military’s best interests. Since that time, thousands of transgender service members have begun to serve openly.
“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….