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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 29, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 39
AG Bob Ferguson wants to join suit against Trump's Trans ban
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AG Bob Ferguson wants to join suit against Trump's Trans ban

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a motion to join a federal lawsuit challenging Donald Trump's ban on Transgender people serving in the military.

Ferguson's motion, filed September 25, argues that Trump's ban 'constitutes undisguised sex and gender identity discrimination that serves no legitimate purpose, and its implementation will have significant, damaging impacts on the State of Washington and its residents.'

'Thousands of transgender individuals serve or have served their country with honor and distinction,' Ferguson said in a statement issued later on September 25. 'Barring transgender individuals from serving based on anything other than their ability is wrong.'

According to Ferguson's motion, Washington state would suffer harm if Trump's ban goes into effect because the presidential order would apply to the Washington National Guard as well as federal troops.

This state is home to approximately 60,000 active, reserve, and National Guard members. The Washington National Guard is an integral part of Washington's emergency preparedness and disaster recovery planning.

In August, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Transgender plaintiffs who are currently serving or want to serve in the military.

In July, Ferguson and 18 other state attorneys general sent a letter calling on members of the US Armed Services Committee to stand with Transgender military service members following Trump's announcement of the new policy on Twitter.

Ferguson has been an active ally for the Transgender community. He filed an amicus brief supporting Transgender student Gavin Grimm in Grimm's suit demanding rights to use gender-appropriate restroom facilities at his high school.

Ferguson also urged a federal court to uphold the federal government's ability to protect the civil rights of Trans people through Title VII and Title IX, and led a multistate coalition urging the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide Transgender veterans access to health care.

The court will decide whether Washington state can join the suit against Trump's Trans ban sometime after a three-week 'noting period' has elapsed.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed Ferguson's move.

'Our state will fight any discriminatory order that targets and negatively impacts Washingtonians and pits our state's inclusive laws against the unjustified and discriminatory federal policies being promulgated by the current administration,' Inslee said in his own statement.

Ferguson created the Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit in 2015 to enforce state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Ferguson named the unit for Wing Luke, who served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Washington in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Luke later became the first person of color elected to the Seattle City Council and the first Asian-American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.

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