On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that he will enlist the help of a panel of experts to understand how President Trump’s ban on transgender military personnel might be implemented. Until he receives their recommendations, America’s approximately 2,500 trans service members and 1,500 reserves will be allowed to continue serving their country, reports Alexa Liautaud.
“We can defend transgender people in the face of this administration,” Jennifer Levi, director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project, told VICE News. “This is absolutely the start of a really important fight.”
President Trump first introduced the ban in July in a series of spontaneous tweets, which he then formalized with a presidential memoranda last week. The memo reversed an Obama-era policy that allowed transgender soldiers to serve and also now bans the military from recruiting transgender people.
Politicians, lawyers, and human rights activists are vigorously opposing Trump’s latest policy reversal, says Liautaud, with more than 140 House Democrats signing off on a letter urging the president to reconsider, according to the Associated Press.