WNPR

Why A Lawyer Filed Suit On Behalf Of Five Transgender Service Members

Aug 25, 2017

The White House has issued a memo that bans transgender people from enlisting in the military.

NPR and The Wall Street Journal report transgender members of the U.S. military would be subject to removal at Defense Secretary James Mattis’ discretion -- and the service would bar transgender people from enlisting, under the guidelines.

Jennifer Levi is a law professor at Western New England University in Springfield.

“The president is authorizing special rules to apply to transgender people, and that is the most straightforward example of discrimination that you can imagine,” Levi said.

Earlier this month, Levi filed a lawsuit against the administration on behalf of five transgender service members.

“They have been in the service for, among them, more than 50 years,” she said. “They have served in active duty in deployments, including the Middle East and other areas of active combat.”

Levi filed her suit shortly after President Trump announced the ban via Twitter in late July.

In it, she argues there is no basis for targeting transgender service members, and that the administration is breaking faith with military members who were told they could serve openly in 2016 by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter.