Judge Rules Military Must Allow Transgender Jan 2018

Judge Rules That Military Must Accept Trans People Starting Jan. 1, Despite Trump's Ban

A federal judge issued a ruling late Monday afternoon ordering the military to begin accepting transgender recruits as of January 1.

There are now two federal court injunctions against the President's transgender military ban.

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

Not so, Kollar-Kotelly said in the order issued today. The judge's decision in that case stopped the ban from going into effect and required the military to continue funding trans soldiers' transition-related surgical care.

In 2016, Obama administration Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued an order stating that the military would begin allowing transgender people to join the military by July 1, 207-a date that Mattis pushed back to January 1, 2018. Garbis ruled in a similar vein against the Trump administration on its transgender military ban. Judge Kollar-Kotelly has written that she considers these lawsuits as "likely to succeed" because the president's transgender ban violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process.

In June of 2016, the Department of Defense told transgender members of the armed forces it was safe to come out and serve openly and authentically, and estimates show there are thousands of transgender individuals now serving in the military. Several weeks later, President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender troops will not be allowed to serve in the military.

"We are very pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling and that transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist", Minter said.

To clarify on whether Mattis is free to extend the ban on transgender enlistments any further, Kollar-Kotelly writes "any action by any of the defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined".

On Aug. 25, President Trump issued a memorandum reversing significant portions of Obama's order. Along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAD is representing five military servicepeople who are suing the administration over its transgender ban.

In the ruling Monday Kollar-Kotelly clarified Mattis can't delay the date further and the military must continue to follow the Obama administration's transgender recruiting policies by January 1, 2018.

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