News (USA)

Trump tries one more time to prevent transgender people from enlisting in the military

Donald Trump James Mattis
President Donald J. Trump departs from the Pentagon alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C.Photo: DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

The Trump administration is trying yet again to block transgender people from enlisting in the military.

The Department of Justice has filed for an emergency stay to delay a court order, by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that instructs the military to allow trans soldiers to enlist beginning on January 1. It has asked for a ruling by Monday.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled back in October that while the issue worked its way through the courts, having been challenged immediately, the situation should revert back to the Obama-era policy allowing openly trans people to enlist.

The Trump administration appealed that ruling last month, on the same day that a second federal judge blocked the ban, as well as blocking the government from refusing to cover healthcare costs associated with gender confirmation surgery.

Kollar-Kotelly reconfirmed that her ruling meant that policy had to revert back to before the ban.

As Politico reports, the administration is now pulling out another last ditch attempt to stop the more inclusive policy from going into effect while a Pentagon panel reviews the issue.

“Compelling the military to implement a new accessions policy while it is simultaneously completing a comprehensive study of military service by transgender individuals that may soon result in the adoption of different accessions standards would waste significant military resources and sow unnecessary confusion among service members and applicants,” the DOJ’s motion reads.

“This is the government’s further efforts to put off what the judge has ordered, which is that transgender people have to be allowed to enlist as of Jan. 1,” Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, said. “The government has known this for a long time — both before the lawsuit, and since the judge ordered the military not to reverse the policy it had adopted allowing transgender people to enlist.”

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