Two LGBTQ rights groups are suing President Trump over his plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of five transgender service members.
They claim the president’s July tweets announcing plans to reverse the Department of Defense’s policy on transgender service members violates the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment.
“The categorical exclusion of transgender people from military service lacks a rational basis, is arbitrary, and cannot be justified by sufficient federal interests,” the groups said in their complaint.
The plaintiffs in the case, listed only as Jane Doe 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, have nearly 60 years of combined service, according to the groups.
In making the announcement on Twitter in July, Trump said he had consulted with “generals and military experts” and decided the “United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” he said in a second tweet.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford issued a letter the next day indicating the policy would not be changed until the White House issued further “guidance.”
“There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance,” Dunford wrote.