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People Magazine
December 12, 2017 2:00 pm

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot restrict transgender people from enlisting in the military, and the armed forces must accept recruits by Jan. 1.

President Trump had previously signed a memo that stopped transgender people from entering the military, and gave Defense Secretary James Mattis six months to decide what to do about those who are currently serving.

But in October, a federal court blocked the attempted ban as it worked its way through the court system. With Monday’s ruling, the earlier block will remain in place.

Trump first announced the proposed ban in July in a series of tweets where he said that transgender military members “burdened” the armed forces with “tremendous medical costs and disruption” with hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery.

Related article: Demi Lovato brings Danica Roem, first openly transgender state legislator, as her AMAs date

According to a 2016 Defense Department-commissioned study, gender reassignment treatments cost $8.4 million at most, representing just 0.13 percent of the military’s $6.2 billion health care budget

Logan Ireland, a transgender Air Force Staff Sgt., told PEOPLE in July that the move takes highly trained people out of the military.

“For the President to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,” Ireland, 29, said.

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