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Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN Urge District Court to Block Permanently Discriminatory Transgender Military Ban

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March 25, 2018
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Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN clients who are currently serving and wish to enlist

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, together with the State of Washington, will appear Tuesday before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to urge the court to block for good implementation of the Trump Administration’s effort to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services. Tuesday’s argument is the first to follow Friday’s release of the so-called implementation plan for the bigoted and unconstitutional transgender military ban.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 10:00am PT. Press conference on the courthouse steps immediately following the hearing, estimated around 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA 98101.

WHO: Natalie Nardecchia, Senior Attorney, Lambda Legal, 
Conner Callahan, Plaintiff, 
Staff Sergeant Cathrine “Katie” Schmid, Plaintiff
Peter Perkowski, Legal Director, OutServe-SLDN
Patricio Marquez, Assistant Attorney General, State of Washington
Danni Askini, Executive Director, Gender Justice League
Chris Sgro, Communications Director, Human Rights Campaign

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the proposed ban on open military service by transgender people in late August, following President Trump’s tweets in July announcing imposition of the ban and, in late August, issuance of a proposed implementation plan. Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN represent nine individual plaintiffs who are all transgender – six currently serving members of the U.S. Armed Services and three individuals who wish to enlist – and three organizational plaintiffs, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Seattle-based Gender Justice League, and American Military Partner Association (AMPA). The State of Washington joined the lawsuit last November.

In October, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., granted a preliminary injunction in a similar lawsuit challenging the transgender military service ban filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). In November, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland granted a preliminary injunction in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. And, in December, in addition to the ruling out of Seattle, a U.S. District Court judge in California granted a preliminary injunction in a case filed by Equality California, also joined by NCLR and GLAD. The D.C. and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals denied the Trump Administration’s efforts to secure stays on open enlistment in the two earlier cases.