Published: Wed, December 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Transgender Military Recruits to Enlist On January First As Planned

Transgender Military Recruits to Enlist On January First As Planned

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly follows an earlier opinion blocking President Trump's ban on military recruitment of transgender men and women that many believed would have forced the dismissal of now service members beginning in March.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that on January 1 it would begin processing applications from transgender individuals who wish to join the U.S. military next year.

This new policy has added increasing legal pressure for the federal government, who are now attempting to enforce Trump's ban on transgender individuals from the military.

To clarify, these requirements are not new and are similar to the concerns the Obama administration had in place when the ban on transgender service was initially lifted in June 2016.

Trump announced in a series of late July posts on Twitter that the government would not accept or allow transgender Americans to serve in the US military - a policy that drew swift criticism from Democrats and LGBTQ advocates.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced this week that it will start allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the military next month, despite the Trump Administration's efforts to challenge the policy in federal court. "And there is still ample time for a higher court-perhaps even the Supreme Court-to intervene and stay Kollar-Kotelly's decision".

In her decision, she noted that she was "not convinced by the vague claims" that the January 1 deadline needed to be delayed. She is hearing one of four lawsuits against the ban, and she said the plaintiffs, current and aspiring trans service members, are likely to succeed in their argument that the ban violates their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law.

The administration, as the Washington Post reports, already upset that they lost an earlier battle to make their ban legal in March, requested a stay on the deadline, claiming they did not have sufficient time.

Kollar-Kotelly had issued a preliminary injunction October 30 that prevented the government from implementing its ban on transgender recruits and service members.

"Trump administration claims that our highly sophisticated military is unprepared to implement a minor policy change after more than a year of preparation are simply not credible", said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter.

He proposed that transgender people would be able to enlist in the military by July 2017.

The Pentagon will allow transgender people to join its ranks, it announced Monday, after a judge's ruling. "This administration needs to stop creating fake problems and get on with it". "The Trump administration is struggling to provide any evidence that open trans enlistment be must be delayed because none exists beyond their own hate-fueled anti-LGBTQ agenda".

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