Biden Repeals the Trump-Era Ban on Transgender People Serving in the Military

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Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue.

Biden continues to pull back the dark layers the Trump’s administration left behind. On Monday, January 25, he signed legislation repealing the ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.

In the legislation, Biden wrote, “It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service. Moreover, there is substantial evidence that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military does not have any meaningful negative impact on the Armed Forces.”

During the Senate confirmation hearing, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had said, “If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve, and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve,” backing Biden’s executive order.

In the summer of 2017, Trump shared on Twitter his decision to implement a ban on transgender troops, arguing, “our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming (…) victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Though federal courts blocked the initial memo, the injunction was put on hold during the beginning of 2019.

The executive order Biden signed takes a couple of measures, which will be effective immediately:

  • It fully repeals both mandates Trump signed not allowing transgender people in the military.
  • Establishes servicemembers cannot be discharged or denied reenlistment because of their gender identity.
  • Orders Department of Defense to correct those people’s records who were dismissed because of their gender identity,
  • Orders the secretary of defense and the secretary of homeland security to begin operations allowing servicemembers to serve freely and openly.

At the signing, Biden said what he was doing was “enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform and essentially restoring the situation that used to be before, where transgender personnel — if qualified in every other way — can serve their government in the United States military.”

The military services have 60 days to report the executive order’s progress and implementations. Less than a week in office, Biden’s trying to correct all the hatred Trump place on the land over the last four years. Even though there’s a long way to go, it seems he is giving his best efforts to show the policies he promised are being upheld.