Now that President Trump has officially directed the Pentagon to enact a ban on transgender military service, a coalition of LGBT groups on Monday filed two separate lawsuits against him over the policy.
One complaint was filed in federal court in Seattle by Lambda Legal and the LGBT military group OutServe-SLDN. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Karnoski v. Trump, are two transgender people who wish to serve in the military — Ryan Karnoski and an unnamed high school student — as well as Staff Sergeant Cathrine Schmid, a transgender woman currently in the U.S. Army who has served for more than 12 years; the Human Rights Campaign; and the Seattle-based Gender Justice League.
Sarah McBride, who’s transgender and serves as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the U.S. military “is stronger when any qualified American willing to defend our country is able to serve, regardless of their gender identity.”
TrumpTrump“It is an unconscionable and unconstitutional breach of trust for the president to single out brave transgender service members and able recruits for discrimination,” McBride said. “The harm that this administration is causing to both these courageous Americans and our national security must be stopped.”
The other complaint was filed in federal court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union and the D.C.-based law firm Covington & Burling LLP. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit, Stone v. Trump, are five transgender troops currently in the military representing each of the military branches: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, and Marine Corps Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker.
Stone, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, has served in the U.S. Navy for nine years, including a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. According to the lawsuit, Stone was awarded an achievement medal for his deployment as well as multiple other commendations, including a flag letter of commendation and multiple recommendations for early promotion.
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