The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit on Monday against President Donald Trump over his directive banning transgender people from joining the U.S. armed forces.
"Allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly and providing them with necessary healthcare does nothing to harm military readiness or unit cohesion."
—Josh Block, ACLUTrump's order, signed last Friday, would also bar "the Department of Defense from using its resources to provide medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals currently serving in the military," CNN reported.
In a statement accompanying the lawsuit announcement on Monday, Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project, said that "every claim made by the President Trump to justify this ban can be easily debunked by the conclusions drawn from the Department of Defense's own review process."
"Allowing men and women who are transgender to serve openly and providing them with necessary healthcare does nothing to harm military readiness or unit cohesion," Block concluded. "Men and women who are transgender with the courage and capacity to serve deserve more from their commander-in-chief."
Trump's tweets, and the directive that followed, have been widely denounced by lawmakers, LGBTQ rights groups, and active-duty transgender troops.
"This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science," Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in response to the president's tweets.
The ACLU's lawsuit "was filed on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland and six current members of the armed forces who are transgender: Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Senior Airman John Doe, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, and Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker," the organization said in a press statement on Monday.
On Twitter, ACLU declared that Trump's transgender ban is "based on uninformed speculation, myths and stereotypes, and a desire to harm transgender people."