U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Filed August 9, 2017
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
GLAD and NCLR filed the first lawsuit challenging President Trump’s directive to reinstate a ban on military service by transgender people on August 9, 2017.
We filed this lawsuit because:
- President Trump is needlessly attacking courageous transgender service members who put their lives on the line for our country. Trump’s efforts to reinstate the ban are already harming service members, who have been blindsided and are scrambling to deal with what this means for their families and their futures—including the loss of job security, retirement benefits, healthcare, and other serious harms.
- The military itself carefully studied this issue and concluded that there is no reason to bar transgender people from military service.
- Since the Department of Defense announced in June 2016 that transgender people can openly serve, thousands of transgender soldiers have come out and are serving openly. Our country is safer and more secure because of their service.
- We represent transgender individuals seeking to serve through enlistment, military academy and ROTC, as well as active duty service members who came out as transgender to their commanding officers in reliance on the Defense Department’s June 2016 announcement that transgender people can now openly serve in the military.
The lawsuit asserts that President Trump’s directive to ban transgender service members violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the federal Constitution. We argue that Trump’s policy was enacted to discriminate, not to serve any legitimate purpose. It directly contradicts the military’s own careful conclusion—reached after a comprehensive review process—that there is no reason to ban transgender soldiers from serving.
In addition to GLAD and NCLR, the plaintiffs in Doe v. Trump are represented by lawyers from Foley, Hoag LLP and WilmerHale.