BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A Boston-based LGBTQ-rights organization filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Donald Trump’s tweets declaring he wants a ban on transgender people serving in the military.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is working with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on behalf of five transgender service members with nearly 60 years of combined military service. They are unidentified but serve in the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Army.
Doe v. Trump was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Wednesday.
“We are looking for a court order that prohibits this administration from reversing the military policy that allows transgender people to serve openly,” Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Jennifer Levi told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“We filed this suit because these are courageous soldiers who have dedicated their lives to protecting this country and they are now facing being thrown out of the military just for who they are,” Levi explained.
“It’s an irrational policy switch by our president and they want nothing more than to stay and continue to put their lives on the line for our safety.”
According to Levi, the plaintiffs were not going be further identified because they feared military reciprocations if they knew who they were.
Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the military since June 2016. Trump, in a series of tweets on July 26, announced that he planned to end that policy.
“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.”
The lawsuit said the ban is unconstitutional, denying transgender service members equal protection and due process.
Levi added, “We all owe [the plaintiffs] a debt of gratitude for their services and what they don’t need is a kick in the teeth from this administration.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports