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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 15, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 50
Pentagon will take Trans recruits beginning January 1
Section One
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Pentagon will take Trans recruits beginning January 1

Three federal judges have ruled against Trump's Trans ban by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Pentagon announced on December 11 that it would start to enlist Transgender recruits beginning on January 1. Its decision comes in the wake of universal legal condemnation of Donald Trump's ban on Transgender military personnel.

Also on December 11, two federal judges ruled against the White House, granting injunctions to prevent the Trump ban from going into effect. In all, three federal courts have found that Trump acted unconstitutionally in trying to ban Trans people from the military.

Washington State became the first state to win an injunction against the Trump ban, Attorney General Bob Ferguson having filed suit on behalf of nine Washington citizens and three human rights organizations.

'The Court finds that the policy prohibiting openly transgender individuals from serving in the military is likely unconstitutional,' US District Judge Martha Pechman wrote in her ruling.

Pechman also found that the ban irreparably harms Washington's interest in 'maintaining and enforcing its anti-discrimination laws, protecting its residents from discrimination, and ensuring that employment and advancement opportunities are not unlawfully restricted based on transgender status.'

'Today's ruling is a major victory for the thousands of transgender service members who serve their country with honor and distinction,' Ferguson said in a statement.

'Barring transgender service members from serving based on anything other than their ability and conduct is wrong.

'All of us owe a debt of gratitude for every American who answers the call of service in our armed forces, and we are grateful for today's decision, which affirms [that] everyone who is able and willing can answer that call regardless of color, religion, orientation, birthplace, or gender,' Gov. Jay Inslee said. 'While this president can attempt the practice of division, our nation's service members and the sacrifices they and their families make demonstrate the power of America standing together as one.'

Previously, two federal judges, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly and US District Judge Marvin Garbis, issued injunctions in two cases brought by private plaintiffs challenging the Trump ban.

Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to allow Transgender people to enlist, rejecting the Pentagon's request that they be kept out pending a decision on the merits of the lawsuit.

'The court will not stay its preliminary injunction pending defendants' appeal,' Kollar-Kotelly wrote in her December 11 decision.

'In sum, having carefully considered all of the evidence before it, the court is not persuaded that defendants will be irreparably injured by allowing the accession of transgender individuals into the military beginning on January 1, 2018.'

The Pentagon said in a statement that it would appeal her ruling but comply with her orders and begin processing transgender recruits for military service on January 1.

Garbis was the first to decide against the Trump ban, ruling in November that the administration was motivated by animus against Trans people and not by military efficiency.

'The lack of any justification for the abrupt policy change, combined with the discriminatory impact to a group of our military service members who have served our country capably and honorably, cannot possibly constitute a legitimate governmental interest,' Garbis stated.

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