Federal courts have ruled that the U.S military must start to take in transgender service members by January 1st, ignoring Trump’s recent trans ban. A judge for the U.S District Court ruled that Trump’s unilateral order to ban transgender soldiers from serving — as well as potentially expelling current members — cannot and will not be enforced while it is currently being reviewed in the court.
This means the military will need to function as before, within the confines of former President Barack Obama’s June 2016 policy that allowed transgender citizens to enlist beginning January 1st. In a memo, overseeing Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote that “any action by any of the Defendants that changes this status quo is preliminarily enjoined.”
The ruling came after President Trump issued an order this past August, ordering the military to halt enlisting of transgender people and funding for transition-related procedures. He also gave Defense Secretary James Mattis a 6-month window to assess the situation, and to deal with transgender soldiers who are currently serving.
The Basis Of The Trans Ban, Refuted
Every able-bodied citizen who has the resolve and fortitude to serve should be able to, according to military enlistment requirements. The cost of “special” healthcare for transgender soldiers is also relatively minimal. A June 2016 study by RAND Corporation estimated between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender active-duty service members, which represent a small percentile of the 1.3 million members. It noted that not all transgender soldiers would require any treatment, indicating that many are entering the armed forces as fully self-actualized individuals. The increased costs for military healthcare would be between .04 and .13 percent each year.
Let’s move forward to support and properly galvanize the American military, and stop fracturing the armed forces with the unnecessary fearmongering. At a time when Donald Trump criticizes others for “disrespecting the military,” it is the height of hypocrisy to prevent any potential soldier who is willing to lay down their life for the country from doing so.
Featured image via Peterson Air Force Base.