Attorney General Becerra Petitions Court to Join Case Defending the Rights of Transgender Individuals Serving in the Military

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday asked a federal court to allow California to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The case, Stockman v. Trump, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by Equality California and individual plaintiffs to defend the rights of transgender individuals seeking to join, or currently serving openly in, the U.S. military.

“We must honor the service and sacrifice of all members of our military by fighting for them when their rights are attacked,” said Attorney General Becerra. “California will not allow President Trump’s illegal, discriminatory and un-American actions to harm our people or our military. Marginalizing transgender servicemembers or any transgender American who wishes to serve our country faithfully and courageously will not occur on our watch.”

Before filing yesterday’s motion to intervene as a co-plaintiff, the Attorney General had joined friend-of-the-court briefs in this case and in lawsuits in Maryland and in the District of Columbia that are challenging the Administration’s discriminatory military service ban. Recently, in a victory for transgender service members, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, pending a final outcome in that case, Doe v. Trump.

A copy of the motion is attached to the online version of this press release here.

BACKGROUND

In July, President Trump announced via Twitter that he would reverse existing Department of Defense policies that allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the military.

Following that announcement, Attorney General Becerra, along with 18 fellow attorneys general, sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to add language to the federal National Defense Authorization Act to make clear that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender persons who currently serve in or wish to join the U.S. military.

Banning transgender individuals from serving in the military will have a direct impact on California, which is home to more than 130,000 active duty military personnel, in addition to more than 56,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The Attorney General has filed several other friend-of-the-court briefs supporting LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans.  In addition to joining amicus briefs in Stone v. Trump and Doe v. Trump in October, the Attorney General joined the case of Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs to defend transgender veterans’ rights to health care coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs for medically necessary care, including sex reassignment surgery.

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