From today (January 1) transgender individuals are able to enlist in the US military.
It comes as the Pentagon was forced to comply with a federal court ruling which tossed out President Trump’s proposed ban on trans troops.
Four separate lawsuits moved through courts across America to challenge the order which was first revealed by Trump on Twitter in the summer.
He wrote that trans individuals would not be permitted to enter the US military “in any capacity” because of the “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”
Trump’s comments came despite an Obama-era directive that permitted trans individuals to enrol in the military.
Despite the court order successfully allowing new trans recruits, different court actions have halted the implementation of the ban on current transgender service members.
The Trump administration had sought an emergency injunction to allow it to continue banning transgender personnel.
However, the bid was rejected by the Federal District Court in DC.
The challenge to Trump policy was brought forward by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “Today’s legal victory is the latest step towards preventing Trump’s bigoted trans military ban from ever going into full effect.
“The Trump administration is struggling to provide any evidence that open trans enlistment be must be delayed because none exists beyond their own hate-fueled anti-LGBTQ agenda.”
The new guidelines issued regarding new trans troops state that applicants will only be allowed to join if a medical provider can confirm that the individual has been stable without “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” for 18 months.
They must also certify that an applicant “has completed all medical treatment associated with the applicant’s gender transition, the applicant has been stable in the preferred gender for 18 months, and if presently receiving cross-sex hormone therapy post-gender transition, the individual has been stable on such hormones for 18 months.”
Those who have undergone gender confirmation surgery must have a medical provider certify that “a period of 18 months has elapsed since the date of the most recent surgery, no functional limitations or complications persist, and no additional surgeries are required.”