Today, in an expected action, President Biden signed an executive order reversing the ban that Trump had signed that had prohibited transgender people from serving openly in the military.
The White House said Biden’s directive “sets the policy that all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve.”
“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.
Biden’s 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,” and directs that military records be corrected for anyone who had been affected by Trump’s ban.
According to a 2014 report from the Williams Institute, an estimated 15,000 transgender adults are serving in the U.S. military. Also, a 2020 study by the Palm Center found that “barring transgender people from serving harms the military by threatening recruitment, retention, morale, and unit cohesion.”
Biden’s policy will also ensure that transgender service members have access to health care, including gender-affirming care.
Sources: NBC News 1/25/21; CNN 1/25/21