With formal guidance released by the White House Friday calling for a purge of transgender people from the US military, Lambda Legal and OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network announced that they would file a lawsuit.
“This mean-spirited and discriminatory attack on our community is capricious, irrational and clearly driven by anti-LGBT forces in the administration who care more about harming transgender people than keeping our nation safe,” Lambda Legal’s Sasha Buchert said on the organization’s blog. “It is clearly unconstitutional.”
Over a week ago, Donald Trump tweeted about how he plans to purge the military of transgender people. Tweets are not legally binding, but it didn’t take long for the Trump Administration to produce a document entitled “A Guidance Policy for Open Transgender Service Phase Out,” which the White House Counsel approved as legal guidance on Friday.
Since October of last year, transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the military but could not enlist. Before, transgender people could be refused reenlistment or discharged from the military solely based on their identity.
A deadline for formulating enlistment policies was set for July of this year, but the chiefs of the service branches sought a six-month delay. Now it’s uncertain if such a policy will ever happen.