gettyimages 652472542 Despite Trumps disapproval, Pentagon allows transgender enlistees in US Military

Copies of a new magazine called “OutServe” intended for actively serving lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender, US military members (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon official tells The Associated Press that transgender people can enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s opposition.

The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump’s demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban.

Potential transgender recruits will have to overcome a lengthy and strict set of physical, medical and mental conditions that make it possible, though difficult, for them to join the armed services.

Maj. David Eastburn says the enlistment of transgender recruits will start Jan. 1 and go on amid the legal battles. The Department of Defence also is studying the issue.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Listen Live