President Biden repeals Trump's transgender military ban

Mon. January 25, 2021 10:41 AM by News Staff

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WATCH: President Biden signs executive order repealing transgender military ban (video below)

President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order repealing Donald Trump's 2019 ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, fulfilling a key campaign promise less than a week after his inauguration.

“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America's strength is found in its diversity,” read a statement from the White House.

“This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception,” the statement continued. “Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force.”

Biden signed the executive order at a ceremony Monday morning with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

A 2016 Department of Defense survey estimated that 1 percent, or 8,980, active duty troops were transgender.

LGBTQ civil rights organzations applauded Biden's move.

"For years, transgender patriots were forced to continue to hide their identity while serving in our military. But today ... they may live and serve openly as themselves," Human Rights Campaign president, Alphonso David, said in a statement. "The greatest military in the world will again value readiness over bias, and qualifications over discrimination."

Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement, “Trans servicemembers continued to serve our nation despite a president who disrespected their contributions and who reinstated discrimination for his own political gain. With that stain on our nation removed, trans servicemembers will rise through the ranks and join the military in greater numbers, changing perceptions of trans people in the U.S. and around the world. Our history proves the military is strongest when it makes strides toward becoming more inclusive. Today will further that truth.”