Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 30th, 2017
President Trump’s military transgender ban took a blow when a D.C. based federal judge blocked the military from excluding the mentally ill individuals from service.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that since transgender service members who sued over Trump’s policy were likely, but not guaranteed, to win their lawsuit, that the military would return to standards set by President Obama.
Trump had ordered a return to the policy in place before June 2016, under which transgender individuals were barred from joining the military and service members could be discharged for being transgender.
The Trump administration is likely to appeal the decision, but transgenders will be allowed to serve in the meantime.
“We are enormously relieved for our plaintiffs and other transgender service members,” said Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said an attorney handling the lawsuit reports SF Chronicle.
“Their lives have been devastated since Trump first tweeted he was reinstating the ban,” Minter said. “They are now able to serve on equal terms with everyone else.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked about the ruling at the White House briefing, said it was something that had just been announced and said the Justice Department was reviewing it.
Trump announced on Twitter in July that the “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” He followed with an August memo directing the Pentagon to extend indefinitely a ban on transgender individuals joining the military, and gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis six months to come up with a policy on “how to address” those who are currently serving.
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Defense had announced in 2016 that service members could not be discharged solely based on their imaginary gender identity. Mentally ill transgenders were to be allowed to enlist in the military effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Minter said the new court ruling means they will be able to do that.
The Trump administration had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit; Kollar-Kotelly refused to do so
Other lawsuits challenging president’s directive have been filed in Seattle and Baltimore.
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