US court bars Trump from prohibiting transgender people from serving in military

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 30.10.2017 20:14
Updated 30.10.2017 21:16
U.S. Army Personnel infield, in combat uniform. (REUTERS Photo)
U.S. Army Personnel infield, in combat uniform. (REUTERS Photo)

A federal court in Washington is barring President Donald Trump from changing the government's policy on military service by transgender people.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote Monday that transgender members of the military who had sued over the change were likely to win their lawsuit and barred the Trump administration from reversing course.

Kollar-Kotelly said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their claims that the ban was unconstitutional because the reasons given for the ban "do not appear to be supported by any facts." She said that other factors, including "the unusual circumstances surrounding the president's announcement" of the ban, weighed in her decision.

The judge, however, tossed out the suit's challenge to the sex-reassignment surgery directive, saying none of the plaintiffs had shown they would be impacted by that prohibition.

Trump in July said he would ban transgender people from the military in a move that would reverse Democratic former President Barack Obama's policy and halt years of efforts to eliminate barriers to military service based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The transgender service members sued in August to try to block the ban. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction halting enforcement of the ban until their case is resolved.

The service members asserted that Trump's policy violated their rights to due process and equal protection under the law under the U.S. Constitution.

Trump signed a memorandum in August that directed the U.S. military not to accept transgender men and women as recruits and halted the use of government funds for sex-reassignment surgeries for active-duty personnel unless the process is already underway.

Trump's action appealed to his hard-line conservative supporters. The president in February also rescinded protections put in place under Obama for transgender public school students.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter