Biden Signs Executive Order Reversing Trump’s Transgender Military Service Ban
President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that reverses Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.
The order states all Americans who are qualified to be in the Armed Forces should be able to serve.
‘America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception,’ the order reads.
The order, which will be welcomed by the transgender community, undoes one of Trump’s most controversial and divisive policies.
Trump brought in the rule in 2017 and reversed the order put in place during Barack Obama’s presidency. In a tweet announcing the news four years ago, Trump wrote that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military ‘in any capacity’.
‘President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,’ the White House said in a statement.
It said the order ‘immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity’.
‘Simply put, transgender service members will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity,’ the order states.
The order cites a former US Surgeons General, who in 2018 testified that ‘transgender troops are as medically fit as their non-transgender peers and there is no medically valid reason to exclude them from military service’.
The order also instructs the relevant authorities to immediately identify and examine the records of all service members who were previously discharged on the basis of Trump’s policies.
‘Transgender service members should know that they are accepted throughout the US military,’ the administration said.
Lloyd Austin, the new US Secretary of Defense, has welcomed the overturn.
‘If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve and you can expect that I will support that throughout,’ he said ahead of the order being announced.
Since taking office on January 20, the new president has been hard at work undoing some of his predecessor’s decisions. He has also overturned an order which banned immigration into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries, introduced a face mask mandate on federal property and rejoined the Paris climate agreement.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
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