Transgender recruits will be allowed to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, the Pentagon said, as President Donald Trump's ordered ban suffered more legal setbacks. The new policy divulged Monday reflects the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump's demand earlier this year to bar transgender individuals from the military. Three federal courts have ruled against the ban, including one Monday in Washington state.
In October, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly barred the Trump administration from proceeding with its plan to exclude transgender people from military service. Part of the effect of the ruling was that the military would be required to allow transgender people to enlist beginning Jan. 1.
The government had asked Kollar-Kotelly to put the Jan. 1 date on hold while it appealed her full ruling but she declined Monday, reaffirming the Jan. 1 start date. The Department of Justice is now asking a federal appeals court to intervene and put the Jan. 1 requirement on hold.
Potential transgender recruits will have to overcome a lengthy and strict set of physical, medical and mental conditions that could make it difficult for them to join the armed services.
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