After issuing an order titled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people, and after appointing a trans woman as Assistant to the Minister of Health, President Joe Biden rescinded the ban that prevented trans people from serving in the military.
Former President Donald Trump had banned trans people from serving in the U.S. military in 2017.
The ban came into effect in 2019. 8,980 trans soldiers were impacted according to Department of Defence data analyzed by the Palm Center, a non-profit group.
But the election of Joe Biden changed all that.
The new president has put back in place what he and President Obama had accomplished in terms of equality.
The Obama administration had removed the ban on transgender people serving in the military in 2016.
“Transgender service members will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity,” the White House said.
“This is reinstating a position that the previous commanders and, as well as the secretaries, have supported. And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform,” Biden said before signing the executive order.
New Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the measure would take effect immediately.
“The Department will immediately take appropriate policy action to ensure individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and serve in their self-identified gender,” Austin said.
“The United States Armed Forces are in the business of defending our fellow citizens from our enemies, foreign and domestic. I believe we accomplish that mission more effectively when we represent all our fellow citizens,” he added.
According to a memo from Ron Klain, the new White House Chief of Staff, Biden planned to use his first week as president “to advance equity and support communities of color and other underserved communities”.
Sasha Buchert, a transgender military veteran and senior attorney at LGBTQ legal advocacy group Lambda Legal, told CNN she was “thrilled that the Biden administration has moved forward to place this garbage policy into the dustbin of history.”
Thanks to President Biden, transgender people are regaining their place in the U.S. military.
After his election, Biden spoke directly to the transgender community via Twitter and let them know that the Biden-Harris administration “will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied”.