The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
In July, President Trump tweeted that the USA military would no longer accept transgender enlistees or allow transgender personnel continue to serve, a move that could affect an estimated 11,000 troops in active-duty and the reserves.
The case, known asDoe v. Trump, seeks to stop the Trump administration from implementing the proposed policy change, which would thousands of transgender troops estimated to be actively serving in the US military.
The five are filing the lawsuit along with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
While the five plaintiffs were not identified in the lawsuit, it was disclosed that three of them served as US Army soldiers, one served in the Air Force and the other in the Coast Guard.
According to the lawsuit, the White House counsel's office subsequently communicated Trump's decision "into official guidance" to the Department of Defense, along with an outline for implementing it.
He added that the sudden announcement by Trump two weeks ago - without spelling out any details of what the new policy would be - caught transgender service members by complete surprise. "But now, I'm anxious about my family's future", the plaintiff said.
Since the Obama administration announced the lifting of the ban in June 2016, "Plaintiffs, along with thousands of servicemembers, have followed protocol in informing their chain of command that they are transgender", the lawsuit states.
In the suit, they said they informed their commanding officers they are transgender and are undergoing medical treatment related to gender transition. 'My experience has been positive and I am prouder than ever to continue to serve. 'But now, I'm anxious about my family's future'.
Trump's directive was criticized by 56 retired USA generals and admirals last week, who argued that the ban "would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops". A ban on transgender service persisted through medical regulation began in the 1980s and through seven-and-a-half years of the Obama administration before former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter changed the policy.
I am encouraged by the headline to the Another Voice by Michael R. Bloomberg: "Ban on transgender personnel is disrespectful", which includes the statement: "Most of all, Trump's tweeted ban smacks disrespect for the military's careful process, for the value of political deliberation, for the American ideal of equality".
There are estimated to be thousands of transgender service members who are now serving openly in the Armed Forces, in the wake of Obama-era reforms that allowed them to do so.
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded to Trump's tweets by saying that the current policy about who was allowed to serve had not changed and would remain in place until the White House sent the Defense Department new rules and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, issued new guidelines.
"The categorical exclusion of transgender people from the military service lacks a rational basis, is arbitrary, and can not be justified by sufficient federal interests", stated the lawsuit.
The White House has not revealed any details on how the ban would be implemented.