Sacramento, California - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined the attorneys general of Massachusetts and 14 other states in a friend-of-the-court brief defending the rights of transgender individuals in the case Stone v. Trump. The multistate amicus brief supports transgender individuals seeking to enlist, or currently serving openly, in the U.S. military. Friday’s brief is the latest action in Attorney General Becerra’s ongoing effort to challenge President Trump's discriminatory transgender military service ban.
“Our servicemembers are entitled to the utmost respect, and we honor their courage and sacrifice,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We will not sit back and silently watch as the President demeans and marginalizes transgender servicemembers. They serve our country, they defend our families, they put their lives on the line. We owe them this fight to prove that the Trump Administration's actions are illegal, offensive and unacceptable.”
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 individuals. He joined one such brief in the case of Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, defending the rights of transgender veterans to health care coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs for medically necessary care, including sex reassignment surgery.