Judge largely blocks Trump’s military transgender ban

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(ABC News) — A federal court judge in Washington, D.C., has largely blocked President Trump’s controversial ban on transgender people serving in the military.

The judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, issued a preliminary injunction on Monday halting two portions of Trump’s presidential memorandum issued in late August, including his reinstatement of the ban on transgender service members that was in place before June 2016.

Kollar-Kotelly also temporarily stopped Trump’s move to block recruiting openly transgender people for the military.

However, she did not block the portion of the memo directing that government funds may not be used for sex reassignment procedures.

Related Content: US seeks to quash lawsuit opposing transgender military ban

Kollar-Kotelly was ruling on a lawsuit, Jane Doe v. Donald Trump, brought by several active-duty transgender service members to stop the implementation of the ban.

In late July, Trump tweeted that he would not allow transgender individuals to serve “in any capacity in the U.S. military.” Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement after those tweets, announcing that no immediate personnel decisions would be made until after a formal presidential memorandum was issued.

The memo, provided in late August, gives the Department of Defense until March 23 of next year to develop and implement a compliance plan.

The basis for the president’s directive was “national security considerations,” a senior White House official said.

“In my judgment, the previous administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the departments’ long-standing policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects,” Trump’s memo reads.

Related Content: Gen. Dunford: Transgender individuals should not be separated from service

In June 2016, then–Defense Secretary Ash Carter allowed transgender individuals to serve openly and permitted funding of gender reassignment treatments, including surgeries.

He gave one year for the Pentagon to study how to allow transgender individuals to join the military — referred to as accession.

However, this June, Trump’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis extended that study through January 2018. The White House memo would have extended the ban indefinitely until “such time that the defense secretary recommends against the contrary,” the official said.

Governor Dannel Malloy said, “The message today to the Trump administration is clear – any attempts to mandate discrimination through executive order will ultimately be ruled illegal and unconstitutional. Those who enlist for military service represent the very best of our very diverse nation – regardless of gender identity or expression. While this case is far from resolved, our hope is that reason will continue to prevail through any other subsequent court actions.”

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