Donald Trump’s plans to bar transgender people from serving in the US military have been dealt a major blow after a federal judge ruled that the ban should not be implemented.
US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled on Monday (October 31) that the ban, due to be implemented in March 2018, discriminates against personnel based on gender.
“There is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effect on the military at all,” the judge wrote.
“In fact, there is considerable evidence that it is the discharge and banning of such individuals that would have such effects.”
President Trump has been attempting reinstate a longstanding policy overturned by Barack Obama last year that barred transgender individuals from joining the military, and making standing service personnel subject to discharge if they were revealed to be transgender.
The Trump administration will have the right to appeal Kollar-Kotelly’s decision, but for now the brakes have been put on the White House’s proposed ban.
In a statement, Justice Department spokesman Lauren Ehrsam said: “We disagree with the court’s ruling and are currently evaluating the next steps.”