(EDGE) All branches of the United States armed forces have officially begun accepting openly transgender troops, despite an attempt via tweet by President Trump to ban trans patriots in uniform. Federal courts struck down Trump's ban, and the military moved forward with plans to begin allowing openly trans patriots to sign up as of Jan. 1 of this year.
Since the change in policy first one, and now a second, openly trans servicemember has signed a contract to serve, ABC News reported.
The first openly trans soldier signed on last month and the military declined to specify the individual's name, gender, or which branch of the service he or she joined. The newest openly trans servicemember has been accepted into the Navy, ABC reported.
When the news of the firt openly trans military member broke in late February, Reuter's recalled that Trump's unilateral ban took the form of a tweet last July. A number of federal courts, however, blocked the ban from taking effect on the grounds that the ban violates the Constitutional rights of transgender Americans wishing to serve.
The trans servicemembers' successful enlistment constitute the latest twist in a saga that began when President Obama cleared the way for openly trans patriots to join up. That action, like a plethora of other Obama initiatives, came in for reversal by Trump, who claimed that trans soldier would "burden" the military with "tremendous medical costs" and "disruption." When the courts blocked that ban, the Trump administration did not appeal; that opened the way for the new policy to take effect.
The Reuters article noted there are already 4,000 trans individuals serving America in uniform and reported that supporters of trans servicemembers have predicted a swell in the numbers of new, openly transgender recruits flocking to the military.
But the future of trans patriots is still not completely certain. The Military Times reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' report, the contents of which have not as yet been disclosed to the public, could yet affect what happens both with prospective recruits and trans soldiers already in the service. An appeal by the Whit House also remains a possibility.
ABC's report said that the president is expected to issue a "policy announcement ...at the end of the month," but also noted that any policy from the White House is still subject to injunctions already made by the courts.