US court bars Trump from reversing transgender policy in military

RSTV Bureau
File photo of US  President Donald Trump

File photo of US President Donald Trump

A US court has largely blocked President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on transgenders serving in the US military.

In August, Trump had signed an executive order banning transgender people from serving openly, reversing former president Barack Obama’s directive allowing them to do so.

US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sided in part with a group of  transgender service members who sued to block the change, halting Trump’s ban on service but upholding the Trump’s move to block the military from paying for gender reassignment surgery.

In the order the judge said that the transgender troops, some with decades or meritorious service, had their rights to due process violated.

The prohibition was already effectively on hold while Secretary of Defence James Mattis convened a panel of experts to examine the implications of reinstating the ban, a move Mattis said in August would mean “current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place”.

The order by Kollar-Kotelly temporarily prevents the Pentagon from enacting the ban imposed by Trump early this year.

(With inputs from agencies)