• Seattle man plaintiff in lawsuit against Trump's transgender military service ban

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    SEATTLE - Two groups announced they are suing President Trump over his transgender military service ban, and a Seattle man is one of the plaintiffs.

    Monday morning, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration's ban.

    Among the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit is 22-year-old Ryan Karnoski, a transgender man from Seattle who currently works as a social worker and wishes to become an officer doing social work for the military.

    Another plaintiff, Staff Sergeant Cathrine ("Katie") Schmid, a 33-year-old woman and 12-year member of the U.S. Army currently serving in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, has applied to become an Army Warrant Officer. 

    The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization, and Gender Justice League, a gender and sexuality civil and human rights organization, headquartered in Seattle have also joined the lawsuit.

    "We have made strides in Washington state to put this kind of government sanctioned discrimination behind us. This ban stands against our state's values that all Washingtonians deserve the same rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution,” said Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League.

    President Trump posted a series of tweets on July 26 announcing that, "The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

    The enlistment ban also bars transgender members of the military currently serving openly, such as Staff Sergeant Schmid, from obtaining appointments as officers.

    The memorandum further orders the return to past anti-transgender policies affecting continued service and medical care of those known to be transgender after the development of an implementation plan by the Secretary of Defense.

    "I love serving my country, which I've been doing for more than 12 years. Since the ban on open service by transgender men and women was lifted, I've been able to live and serve as my authentic self, which has allowed me to form stronger bonds with my fellow service members,” said Schmid.

    The lawsuit is Karnoski v. Trump.  Read a copy of the complaint here. 

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