Transgender troops sue Trump over military ban

The President's order sparked widespread outcry

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Tuesday 05 September 2017 22:18 BST
The suit is the fourth to be filed challenging the President's order
The suit is the fourth to be filed challenging the President's order (AP)

Two transgender people from California who sought to join the armed forces along with four serving personnel, have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s intended ban on such people entering the military.

The lawsuit, targeting Mr Trump’s directive issued last month that would prohibit transgender people from joining all branches of the armed forces and ban military healthcare plans from funding sex-reassignment surgeries, had been backed by the advocacy group Equality California

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Aiden Stockman, 20, of Yucca Valley, who has identified as a transgender male since the eighth grade, and Tamasyn Reeves, 29, who first attempted to join the Navy when she was blocked by the so-called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned gay people from serving openly in the military, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Mr Stockman had been preparing to enlist in the Air Force and now fears Mr Trump’s order will prevent him from doing do. He delayed enlisting last year because he wanted to complete a double mastectomy before joining the Air Force, the newspaper quoted the lawsuit as saying.

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“President Trump has attacked American heroes who have risen above discrimination, hostility and lack of acceptance to serve our country by putting their lives on the line in its defence,” Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said in a statement.

Last week, a group of transgender troops asked a court in Washington DC for an injunction to stop the Trump administration from instituting any part of a transgender service ban while a suit it had filed several weeks earlier was being heard.

Similar lawsuits were filed in August by the American Civil Liberties Union in Maryland and Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN in Washington state.

Mr Trump has ordered Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to scrap plans to begin recruiting transgender troops, eliminate coverage for transgender surgeries by March, and decide what to with those transgender people currently serving in the military.

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