Court Blocks Trump's Transgender Military Ban

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On Oct. 30, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's order banning transgender people from serving in the military.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld former President Barack Obama's policy allowing those who are transgender to serve and mandated a return to the status quo, The Associated Press reports.

"All of the reasons proffered by the president for excluding transgender individuals from the military in this case were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself," Kelly wrote, reports CNN.

Kelly also said those transgender service members who had filed lawsuits over Trump’s policy were likely to win.

"We are enormously relieved for our plaintiffs and other transgender service members," said Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, an attorney handling the lawsuit. "Their lives have been devastated since Trump first tweeted he was reinstating the ban. "They are now able to serve on equal terms with everyone else."

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In July 2017, Trump sparked controversy when he announced the ban via Twitter. Trump said the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" allegedly associated with transgender individuals would interfere with military success.

"After Consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," read one July 26 tweet.

Kelly criticized Trump over the tweet that came "without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes that will gravely affect the lives of many Americans."

Military leaders refused to obey the social media post, so Trump signed an executive order in August, reports Uproxx.

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The announcement and official order immediately caused uproar.

"Let us be clear," said Joshua Block, the senior staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project. "This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country. The President is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country."

"Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity," wrote Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan, the vice chair of the congressional LGBT caucus. "This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe."

Sources: AP, CNN (2), Uproxx, Donald J.Trump/Twitter (2, 3) / Featured Image: torbakhopper/Flickr / Embedded Images: Dlloyd/Based on Monica Helms Design/Wikimedia Commons, Staff Sgt. Jette Carr/U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

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