US judge clears way for transgenders to join military

Monday, December 11, 2017

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A US federal judge on Monday denied a request from the Trump administration to delay allowing transgender recruits to join the military, clearing the way for them to enlist from January 1.

The move will be seen as a blow to President Donald Trump, who in July sent out three tweets saying that transgender troops could not serve "in any capacity" in the military.

Those tweets, later followed by a formal White House memorandum, set off a roar of protest — with several service members and rights groups quick to sue.

Last week, the Justice Department asked a federal court to delay the January 1 deadline while the legal battle plays out, but it denied the motion.

"The court will not stay its preliminary injunction pending defendants' appeal," US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

Under a new policy originally announced last year by the Obama administration, the Pentagon was first supposed to start accepting transgender recruits on July 1 this year, but Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis pushed that back by six months.




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