The president tweeted the discriminatory ban, a month ago, surprising Pentagon officials who confirmed that no president can simply tweet military orders. However, after a month of bureaucratic process, the military formally implemented the ban last week. Today, six members of the military joined the ACLU in challenging Trump’s order as unconstitutional:
The ACLU argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban discriminates based on sex and transgender status and that the ban is based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, moral disapproval, and a bare desire to harm this already vulnerable group.
“Each and every claim made by President Trump to justify this ban can be easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense’s own review process. Allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly and providing them with necessary health care does nothing to harm military readiness or unit cohesion,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “Men and women who are transgender with the courage and capacity to serve deserve more from their commander-in-chief.”
Transgender Americans only recently gained recognition by the U.S. military just last year when President Obama presided over the end of gender discrimination admission policies in the military.
It’s estimated that there are over 15,000 transgender people in America’s military today, which employs well over a million uniformed personnel in every state in the country and around the globe.
Now, six brave men and women are risking their careers to very publicly stand up for thousands of their colleagues, many of whom have suffered in silence for the last month as their Commander in Chief publicly denounces their contributions to this country.
Here are the stories of the six service people who just sued President Trump. The lawsuit is embedded below:
- Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone has served in the U.S. Navy for 9 years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. He has received extensive and costly training and is skilled in his field. He has devoted and risked his life for the United States and is seeking nothing more than the ability to continue to do so on the same terms as his fellow officers.
- Staff Sergeant Kate Cole has served in the U.S. Army for almost 10 years, including a one-year deployment to Afghanistan where she served as a team leader and designated marksman.
- Senior Airman (anonymous) has served for approximately six years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, where he was awarded “Airman of the Year” for his flight and hopes to serve in the armed forces for his entire career.
- Airman First Class Ero George is a member of the Air National Guard. He is training as a nurse and intends to pursue a commission in the U.S. Army.
- Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert has served in the U.S. Navy for 13 years, including a one-year deployment to Afghanistan, and currently serves as an information technology specialist.
- Technical Sergeant Teagan Parker served in the Marine Corps for four years and has served in the Air National Guard for 16 years, currently as a fuel technician.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition