AG Jepsen: Conn. Joins Multistate Brief
Opposing Ban on Military Service by Transgender Individuals
Attorney General George Jepsen today joined with 13 other states and the District of Columbia in a brief opposing the Trump Administration's plan to ban transgender individuals from military service.
In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the attorneys general argue that banning transgender individuals from serving in the military is unconstitutional, against the interest of national defense and harmful to the transgender community. The case, Doe v. Trump, was brought by GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of five transgender service members.
"Transgender men and women who want to serve should be afforded the same opportunities to do so as any other American, and those who are already serving deserve our respect and our gratitude for their service," said Attorney General Jepsen. "I strongly support the rights of transgender people to live free of discrimination, which has no place in our society. I am very proud to join with my colleagues in other states to oppose this unconstitutional ban and to support the transgender community from this and any other attack on their rights and dignity as citizens of our country."
The attorneys general argue that transgender individuals volunteer to serve in the armed forces at approximately twice the rate of adults in the general population and that approximately 150,000 veterans, active-duty service members and members of the National Guard or Reserves identify as transgender.
In the brief, the attorneys general argue that, since adopting open service polices, "there is no evidence that it has disrupted military readiness, operational effectiveness, or morale. To the contrary, anecdotal accounts indicate that the positive impacts of inclusion were beginning to manifest, as capable well-qualified individuals who were already serving were able to do so authentically."
The attorneys general further argue that states, like Connecticut, have enacted and enforce civil rights protections for transgender individuals and that discriminatory prohibitions on participation in civic life, impose significant harms on state residents.
In addition to Connecticut, and led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, other attorneys general joining today's brief include California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
Jaclyn M. Severance