A federal judge in Washington partially blocked a proposed directive from the Trump administration barring transgender people from serving in the military, according to a ruling made public Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a preliminary injunction against a proposal that would have barred recruitment of transgender people into the military and would have forced the dismissal of current transgender service members.
Kollar-Kotelly allowed to stand a part of the proposal that would bar health funds from being used for sex reassignment surgery. The Department of Defense is tasked with implementing the ban by February 2018.
Transgender advocates had sought the preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit against the ban.
There is no official tally of transgender military members, and estimates vary widely. One recent study by the Rand Corp. put the number on active duty at about 2,500, while another from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimated that there were 15,500 on active duty, in the National Guard and in the reserves.
President Donald Trump first floated his plan for a transgender military ban in a set of tweets in late July that surprised military leaders.