Trump bid to ex­clude trans troops shot down

Court or­ders re­turn to pol­icy brought in un­der Obama

Toronto Star - - WORLD - DAVID CRARY AND JES­SICA GRESKO

WASH­ING­TON— A fed­eral judge in Wash­ing­ton on Mon­day barred U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion from ex­clud­ing trans­gen­der peo­ple from mil­i­tary ser­vice.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Colleen Kol­lar-Kotelly ruled that trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers who had sued over Trump’s pol­icy were likely to win their law­suit. She di­rected a re­turn to the sit­u­a­tion that ex­isted be­fore Trump an­nounced his new pol­icy this sum­mer.

Trump had or­dered a re­turn to the pol­icy in place be­fore June 2016, un­der which trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als were barred from join­ing the mil­i­tary and ser­vice mem­bers could be dis­charged for be­ing trans­gen­der. Un­der for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, that pol­icy was changed to al­low trans­gen­der ser­vice mem­bers.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion may ap­peal Kol­lar-Kotelly’s de­ci­sion, but for now, the pro­posed ban re­mains un­en­force­able.

“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,” Min­ter said. “They are now able to serve on equal terms with ev­ery­one else.”

White House spokesper­son Sarah Huck­abee San­ders, asked about the rul­ing at the White House brief­ing, said it was some­thing that had just been an­nounced and said the Jus­tice Depart­ment was re­view­ing it.

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