James Mattis Says Transgender Soldiers Can Re-Enlist… For Now

Pentagon issues new guidance that would allow transgender service members serving in the military to re-enlist in coming months, Associated Press reports

The Pentagon has issued new guidance that would allow transgender troops serving in the military to re-enlist in the coming months while the department figures out how to enforce President Trump’s ban, the Associated Press reports.

In a memo Friday, Defense Secretary James Mattis told military leaders that the Pentagon would put together a high-level panel led by the deputy defense secretary and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to formulate a plan on how to enforce Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers.

In the meantime, transgender troops will be allowed to serve, Mattis said.

In July, the president announced on Twitter that he would reinstate a ban on transgender service members, which was lifted by former President Barack Obama last year.

The tweet sparked a backlash from both sides of the isle and prompted confusion at the Pentagon, which was not warned of the decision ahead of time.

The announcement also drew intense criticism from the Hollywood community, garnering harsh rebuke from George Takei, Bravo’s Andy Cohen and actor Kal Penn.

GLAAD — the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — called President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the United States military “a direct attack on transgender Americans.”

Last month, Trump signed a formal executive order, making it official. That directive gave Mattis six months to determine how to implement the ban, specifically when it comes to transgender service members already serving.