Mattis: Trans Troops Can Continue to Serve—for Now

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that transgender individuals will be able to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study conducted by a group of experts on the issue. “Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction,” Mattis said in a statement, appearing to slow-walk the implementation of a Trump-ordered ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. “The Pentagon completed its review and comprehensive study of this policy over a year ago. This recent statement by Mattis doesn’t change our course of action. We will continue to pursue legal action for our plaintiffs,” said Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe-SLDN, an LGBT military group that is fighting the Trump order in court.