Judge rules that the military must allow trans people to enlist, a new low for Trump’s flagging ban
A federal judge ruled Monday that the military and government must allow transgender people to enlist starting on January 1, 2018.
The statement from Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a clarification of a preliminary injunction she issued last month against President Donald Trump's proposed military ban of openly transgender soldiers and recruits. After the October ruling, the government requested the ability to push back the January 1 enlistment date.
Thanks to a policy developed under President Barack Obama's administration, the military was supposed to begin enlisting out transgender service people starting July 1, 2017. On June 30, however, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that he was postponing the date until January 1, 2018.
It was also in July that Trump declared — apparently much to the surprise of legislators and the Pentagon — an indefinite and sweeping trans military ban via Twitter.
"After consultation with my Generals and military experts," he wrote at the time, "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." He added, "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming . . . victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."