Civil rights groups challenged Trump’s transgender military ban decision in court

WASHINGTON DC: Civil rights groups filed two new lawsuits on Monday challenging President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on transgender people serving in the US military.

The lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Seattle and Baltimore, say the ban issued on Friday violated US constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Trump had announced the ban in a series of tweets on July 26, reversing a policy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. On Aug. 9, five transgender service members filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington DC asking a judge to block Trump from issuing a ban.

“We do not comment on active or pending litigation,” a White House official said. A Defense Department spokesperson echoed that position at a briefing with reporters. Trump’s move halted years of efforts to eliminate barriers to military service based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including a 2016 order by Obama designed to let transgender people serve without fear of discharge.

In its lawsuit filed in Baltimore on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union said Trump had replaced those evidence-based policies “with discredited myths and stereotypes, uninformed speculation, and animus against people who are transgender.”

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