Pentagon To Defy Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

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Mon, Dec 11 - 8:18 pm EST | 1 month ago by
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    The Pentagon is set to subvert President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military starting next year after a district court judge denied a motion from the Trump administration to delay the enlistment of transgender troops.

    U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kolla-Kotelly sided with two other federal judges in thwarting the Trump administration’s plans to enact a controversial transgender ban in the military, an initiative that was met with condemnation among pro-LGBT organizations, the New York Daily News reported.

    Trump caught many people – including transgender individuals already serving in the military and undergoing gender reassignment – by surprise in July when he tweeted that transgender people would be barred because the military could not “be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was hesitant to immediately set Trump’s transgender ban into motion, writing in a July 21 memo: “It is imperative we align our actions to our larger mission and that we disaggregate priorities that increase the lethality of our forces from functions that are wasteful and unnecessary.”

    In announcing the latest shift in policy, Pentagon spokesman Maj. David Eastburn noted that transgender individuals would still be subjected to additional hurdles before enlistment. Recruits with gender dysphoria, for example, could still be disqualified if the condition causes them significant distress or occupational impairment, as could individuals who only recently transitioned.

    Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian rights, applauded the Pentagon’s decision.

    “The military has studied this issue extensively and determined that permitting qualified transgender people to enlist and serve will only strengthen our nation’s armed forces,” she said in a statement.

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