By ANDRES ARENAS GRAYEB
This Monday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a White House policy barring transgender soldiers in the military.
Judge Colleen Koller-Kotelly of the Federal District Court found the administration’s justification for the ban to be lacking and likely unconstitutional. The ban, set to take effect March 2018, is a clear offense to the equal protection clause of the constitution, according to a thorough and strongly worded 76 ruling by Judge Kollar-Kotelly.
The Justice Department has voiced its disagreement with the ruling and is “… currently evaluating the next steps,” according to a statement.
The policy was originally brought to light by a series of tweets made by President Trump in July, expressly announcing that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the military. The announcement was a step to reverse Obama era policy decisions that allowed transgender troops to serve openly, and a shock to military officials already in the process of integrating transgender people into the military.
The ban was a relief for transgender soldiers and supporters of transgender rights alike. “Big news today,” said Lt. Commander Blake Dremann, director of Sparta, an active LGBT military group with more than 650 members. “A lot of people’s lives were put on hold. They thought their careers were ending. This means we can continue to serve with honor, as we have been doing.”
The New York Times and Fox News have been proficient in detailing not only what happened on Monday, but also the before and what may be the after. They have done so by providing an intuitive timeline of the events, as well as brief statements by various involved officials and individuals. They also provide statistics to help solidify the transgender case, though the outcome is left open for deliberation.