The ACLU Is Suing the Trump Administration Over Its Ban on Transgender Troops

The ACLU is suing the president on behalf of five trans service members. Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against President Trump and several members of his administration over its ban on transgender troops in the military. The suit, which was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and five trans service members, claims the ban violates the equal-protection clause of the Constitution.

The plaintiffs include Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone; Senior Airman John Doe; Airman First Class Seven Ero George; Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert; and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker. All currently serve in the U.S. armed forces, and some have for ten years or more. A press release from the ACLU says the president’s ban singles them out for unequal treatment under the law.

What’s more, it says, the president’s stated reasons for the ban — that trans troops are bad for unit cohesion, and that the cost of medical procedures to help them transition is too steep — have been “easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense’s own review process.”

The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the ban unconstitutional and to keep it from being enforced.

The filing comes about a month after the president tweeted that trans troops would not be allowed to serve in the military “in any capacity.” At the time, the tweets weren’t enough to enforce the ban, and top military officials said they would wait to act until the White House issued an official directive. But last week, it released guidelines giving Defense Secretary Mattis six months to implement the ban, albeit with some leeway on how to do so.

This is the second lawsuit to be filed over the ban — earlier this month, two LGBTQ legal organizations sued the president on behalf of five different trans service members.

The ACLU Is Suing Trump Over Ban on Trans Soldiers