Trump's ban on openly transgender military service was just blocked

A federal judge in Washington D.C. blocked parts of Trump's ban on transgender military service today. This means that "openly trans troops may be able to join the military starting in 2018," according to Vox.

The decision comes after trans service members filed a lawsuit against the ban, arguing that it has "already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs' reasonable expectation of continued service." US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly argued that the trans service members are likely to win and stopped parts of Trump's ban from taking effect, according to the Associated Press…

In July, Trump tweeted that he would ban trans military service. He argued, "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail." (The research, based on the experiences of other countries, shows that the costs associated with trans service members are actually very small.)

Then in August, the White House put out the actual policy behind those tweets. According to the administration, Trump would effectively return to the pre-2016 era in which trans troops could not serve openly. The policy also banned the military from paying for gender-affirming surgery, with some exceptions to "protect the health" of someone who had already begun transitioning.

But today's decision doesn't undo Trump's ban on the military paying for gender-related surgery.

Image: Gage Skidmore