President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday overturning former President Donald Trump’s ban on some transgender individuals serving in the military.
“It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride,” Biden wrote on Twitter, describing Trump’s ban as “discriminatory.”
Today, I repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military. It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 25, 2021
Trump’s order was not a complete ban on transgender service, as it allowed transgender recruits to serve in the military as long as they served in their biological gender and did not suffer from gender dysphoria.
“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 sent to reporters, adding that his order was “the right thing to do and is in our national interest.”
Biden signed the executive order in the Oval Office at the White House, noting that he was opening up the military to more transgender individuals.
“What I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform,” Biden said to reporters who were brought in to witness the ceremony.
Biden’s recently confirmed Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd Austin joined the president during the signing ceremony.
“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,” he said in a statement in support of Biden’s action. “This is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.”