ACLU Sues Trump Over Transgender Military Ban

BALTIMORE (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals joining the military.

The federal lawsuit was filed in Maryland on Monday by the ACLU of Maryland on behalf of several service members who are transgender.

Trump directed the Pentagon on Friday to implement the ban on transgender individuals joining the military, which he first announced in a tweet. He also gave to the Pentagon the authority to decide the future of openly transgender people already serving.

The lawsuit says Trump’s policy violates the equal protection rights of transgender service members who now have “grave reason to fear for their careers.”

In a separate case, a soldier based in Washington state and two young men who hope to enlist are among those challenging President Trump’s ban on transgender people joining the military.

The three joined the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign and the Gender Justice League, a Washington state gay rights group, in suing the government in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday. They argue that ban violates the equal protection, due process and free speech guarantees of the Constitution.

One of the Seattle plaintiffs is 33-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Cathrine Schmid, who has served for more than 12 years and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of the city. The others are Ryan Karnoski, a 22-year-old transgender man who lives in Seattle, and a transgender high school student from Corpus Christi, Texas.

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