Pentagon must allow qualified transgender Americans to enter the military

Federal judge rules that the military must soon begin accepting transgender recruits

Pentagon must allow qualified transgender Americans to enter the military

A federal judge on Monday ruled that the government must allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning on January 1, 2018.

Granting a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration's transgender military ban, a federal judge ordered the Pentagon to accept transgender recruits starting Jan.1, 2018.

The controversial policy on banning transgender people in the military was brought into effect after President Trump announced in a series of tweets July that the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" of transgender troops in the military could not be afforded by American forces.

President Trump's ban on allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military hit another legal wall on Monday.

Transgender service members are anxious that their new commander-in-chief is attempting to reverse the policy and transgender people may not be able to serve in "any capacity".

Both cases are still pending in federal court, but the injunctions released in recent weeks indicate the Garbis and Kollar-Kotelly believe the plaintiffs are likely to win their suit. Kollar-Kotelly did not think the Trump administration's arguments met that level of scrutiny, calling their rationale for the transgender ban "hypothetical and extremely overboard".

The Department of Justice asked Kollar-Kotelly to clarify whether her order also covered Mattis' memo delaying transgender enlistments.

At the end of June, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he wanted to push back the enlistment date six months so the Department of Defense could further review the policy.

A month later, he signed a presidential memorandum that scrapped the Obama-era plan and banned the Department of Defense from providing medical treatment regimens for transgender individuals now serving in the military.

GLAD and The National Center for Lesbian Rights represent the five longtime transgender military service members who sued the government in August, claiming that Trump's efforts to ban transgender people from military service was unconstitutional and denied them equal rights and due process. "We are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling that on January 1, transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist".

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's ruling is a clarification of a ruling from late October.

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