Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

14 States Slam Trump’s Transgender-Soldier Ban in Court

More than a dozen U.S. states joined forces in court to slam a proposed ban on transgender Americans serving in the armed forces, saying the Trump administration is peddling discredited myths to justify an “irrational" return to military discrimination.

Citing threats to troop readiness and morale, as well as costs associated with transgender medical services, President Donald Trump in July said he would reverse his predecessor’s policy allowing transgender soldiers to serve. But 18 other nations that already accept transgender troops, including Canada, Britain and Israel, report no such issues, the attorneys general of 14 states and the District of Columbia said in a filing Monday in federal court in Washington.

“Anecdotal accounts indicate that the military’s new inclusive policies were quickly beginning to have a positive effect, as capable and well-qualified individuals who were already serving finally were able to do so authentically," they said.

The U.S. Justice Department is fighting at least two cases over the proposed ban, which is set to take effect in March 2018. The proposal is among moves by the administration targeting rights gained in recent years by transgender Americans, including reversing guidance by former President Barack Obama directing public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms for the gender they identify with.

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