Pentagon: Transgender people can enlist in military Jan. 1


A federal judge in Washington State has become the latest to determine President Trump's ban on transgender people in the armed forces is unconstitutional. Already two federal courts have ruled against Trump's proposed ban.

"It's time to stop stalling and move forward", said GLAD transgender rights project director Jennifer Levi.

The Pentagon official tells The Associated Press that transgender people can enlist in the military beginning January 1, despite President Donald Trump's opposition. "The directive from the Secretary of Defense requiring the military to prepare to begin allowing accession of transgender individuals was issued on June 30, 2016 - almost one and a half years ago", she wrote, according to Reuters.

One of the rulings included a requirement that the government allow transgender individuals to enlist from January 1 and on Monday Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia struck down a government request to delay transgender enlistment.

Pechman found that the ban likely violates the plaintiffs' rights to due process and to equal protection under the law without advancing any government interest.

The Obama administration announced in 2016 that the Pentagon planned to repeal its ban on transgender members on July 1.

"Plaintiffs' lawsuit challenging military service requirements is premature for many reasons, including that the Defense Department is actively reviewing such service requirements, as the president ordered, and because none of the plaintiffs have established that they will be impacted by current politics on military service, Ehrsam's statement said".

According to media reports, there are an estimated 250 transgender troops now serving the United States Armed Forces.

As a result of her preliminary injunction, Pechman enjoins the Trump administration "from taking any action relative to transgender individuals that is inconsistent with the status quo that existed prior to President Trump's July 26, 2017 announcement". High ranking military leaders who oversaw training when the military made the first changes to transgender service policies have said the military is ready to accept transgender enlistees. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, as saying that the enlistment of transgender recruits would start January 1 and go on amid the legal battles.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a press briefing Monday, "The Department of Justice is now reviewing the legal options to ensure the president's directive is implemented". "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".