On Lawyer2Lawyer: Trump’s Ban and the Legal Rights of Transgenders in the Military

In a series of tweets on July 26, President Trump announced that “after consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

Transgender service members have officially been allowed to openly serve since 2016, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban, and unofficially even before then. A Rand study estimates there are from 1,320 to 6,630 transgender personnel serving in the active component and from 830 to 4,160 in the reserves.

This week on the legal affairs podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we look at the president’s ban and on the legal rights of transgenders in the military. Joining us to discuss this are:

  • Kris Poppe, attorney with the Richardson Firm in Fayetteville, N.C. Poppe joined the Richardson Firm in 2016 after nearly 35 years of military service, including over 20 years as an Army Judge Advocate. Kris served as an NCO in the U.S. Marine Corps and as an Army infantry officer before becoming an attorney. As an active duty judge Advocate, he built a service-wide reputation for his courtroom skill and criminal law expertise and was the go-to defense counsel for high-profile and complex cases. Among those cases, Kris represented a transgender service member after it was discovered she was formerly a man.
  • Brynn Tannehill, director of advocacy and founding member of the LGBT military organization SPART*A. Over the past 20 years, she has held positions of leadership over diverse teams of people as a lieutenant commander in the Navy and as a senior research scientist and project manager at the RAND Corporation and others in private industry. A former Navy pilot, Brynn left the Naval Reserves in 2010 to begin her transition.

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