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DOJ Appeals Military 'Transgender' Ruling
Contact: Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, 407-875-1776, Liberty@LC.org
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an appeal in a D.C. federal appeals court after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the military must begin accepting so-called "transgender" recruits on January 1, despite opposition from President Trump and the Pentagon.

The DOJ is currently reviewing the legal options to ensure that the president's directive can be implemented. The Pentagon, under the direction of former President Obama, had originally set the January 1 deadline before President Trump declared a ban on all "transgender" military personnel earlier this year.

Two U.S. district courts, one in the District of Columbia and one in Maryland, blocked enforcement of President Trump's proposed August 2017 ban on "transgender" persons in the armed services. According to the Defense Department, those courts required the branches to begin allowing such recruits to sign up for military service. A third order was issued Monday, by a U.S. District judge who also allowed the state to challenge the ban, stating that Washington has an interest in protecting its residents from discrimination.

In the August 2017 order, President Trump reversed policies put in place by the Obama administration in June 2016.  Those Obama administration policies themselves reversed long-standing military rules against "transgender" people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Prior to June 2016, "transgender" people were not permitted to enlist in the military and members of the military who identified themselves as "transgender" were discharged.  Obama's Department of Defense announced in June 2016 that openly "transgender" people would be permitted to enlist in the military as of January 1, 2018 and those already in the military could not be discharged.

"These court rulings are not in the best interest of the military and our national security," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "The duty of military officers is to appropriately lead and prepare their personnel to serve and protect, and they cannot do that when there is confusion, dysfunction and distraction about a person's gender preference. President Trump has tried to refocus the mission to emphasize military readiness and unit cohesion, and the courts have no business telling the Commander-in-Chief who is eligible to serve," said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.