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Judge rules US military must allow transgender recruits beginning next year

Judge rules US military must allow transgender recruits beginning next year

The US military in Uganda.

A district court judge and the Pentagon ruled the United States military must allow transgender people to enlist beginning 1 January, despite opposition from Donald Trump.

Two judges previously issued orders blocking Trump’s proposed transgender military ban.

US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked it in October and District Judge Marvin J. Garbis issued another halt last month.

On Monday (11 December), Kollar-Kotelly issued another order blocking Trump’s appeal of the original injunction.

‘The court will not stay its preliminary injunction pending defendants’ appeal,’ the judge wrote. In this case, Trump and his administration are the defendants.

Ultimately, the order determines the plaintiffs (aka transgender soldiers) ‘were being injured every day the Presidential Memorandum’s directive preventing accession was in force’ and that there is public interest.

The court also was not persuaded that the Trump administration ‘will be irreparably injured by allowing the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018’.

Mounting legal pressure

According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon is also moving forward to allow transgender recruits to enlist at the start of the year.y

The recruits must pass physical, mental, and medical tests in order to be enlisted. These challenging requirements are similar for other people with certain medical conditions or mental illnesses.

‘Due to the complexity of this new medical standard, trained medical officers will perform a medical prescreen of transgender applicants for military service who otherwise meet all applicable applicant standards,’ said Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.

However, Brad Carson, who worked in Barack Obama’s administration, worries the terms will be so ‘onerus’ there will be no transgender recruits.

‘The controversy will not be about whether you allow transgender enlistees, it’s going to be on what terms,’ he said.