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Transgender People Can Enlist in the Military Starting January 1st

A federal judge ruled that the government must allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning January 1st.

The order came on Monday after the government asked District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly if the date could be pushed back. The January 1st date was established after the Obama administration’s original policy allowing transgender people to begin enlisting, which was supposed to go into effect this past July, was pushed back six months by the Department of Defense so they could further review the policy.

In October, Judge Kollar-Kotelly already issued an injunction forcing the Trump administration to allow transgender individuals to enlist openly after finding no evidence to show why the ban was necessary. The second injunction issued on Monday prevents the administration from pushing back the January 1st date it would go into effect.

Just last week, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis also issued an injunction that made Trumps transgender military ban unenforceable. Garbis called the ban “"capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified” while also saying transgender service members were “likely to suffer imminent harm” as a result of the President’s actions. The injunction allowed transgender service members to continue receiving transition-related medical care.

“Judge Kollar-Kotelly has once again confirmed that there is no legitimate reason to bar transgender people from military service,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, who is one of the attorneys leading the fight against the ban. “We are pleased that Judge Kollar-Kotelly confirmed her prior ruling that on January 1, transgender people who can meet the same qualifications as others will be eligible to enlist.”

At this time, there have been no comments from the Justice Department or the Department of Defense regarding the ruling.

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