Pentagon to permit transgender enlistments Jan. 1
by Evan Wilt
Posted 12/11/17, 02:16 pm
WASHINGTON—A federal judge ruled Monday that the Pentagon must permit transgender Americans to enlist in the military on Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s disapproval. In July, Trump announced on Twitter the military would no longer allow transgender troops to serve, calling the issue a distraction and a burden on the U.S. military. Court challenges quickly followed, and two U.S. District Court judges ruled against the ban. The Trump administration appealed, and on Monday Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued another blow to Trump’s order: “In sum, having carefully considered all of the evidence before it, the court is not persuaded that defendants will be irreparably injured by allowing the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018,” she wrote. A Pentagon official told the Associated Press it would honor the court ruling and begin accepting transgender enlistments on New Year’s Day. But potential recruits must pass a battery of tests and prove they have been stable in their prefered gender for at least 18 months. President Barack Obama lifted the ban on transgender troops last year, which included helping service members pay for gender-reassignment surgery. Defense Department Secretary Jim Mattis is leading a study on transgender service members already in the military to make policy recommendations to the president regarding their future.
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Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.