LGBTQ Advocates Salute Biden’s Repeal Of Trump-Era Transgender Military Ban

President Joe Biden made good on one of his campaign pledges this week by repealing the Trump administration’s 2019 guidance that banned transgender people from enlisting and serving in the military.

Monday’s executive 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,” a White House statement sent to HuffPost and other media outlets read.

Today, I repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military.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

The long-anticipated move reinstates a 2016 Obama administration policy that allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. It was announced by the White House at Monday’s ceremonial swearing in of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who has said he supports the decision.

Less than a year into his presidency, Trump announced plans to ban trans people from serving in the military in “any capacity,” citing “tremendous medical costs and disruption” that he claimed comes with employing trans personnel.

Though numerous surveys have shown that the majority of Americans support transgender military service, the controversial policy took effect in April 2019.  

Biden’s executive order drew instant praise from international LGBTQ advocacy groups like GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Now, a shameful chapter in our nation’s history begins to draw to a close. We look forward to working with the White House & DOD to ensure every qualified patriot can serve their country openly. Grateful to all who advocated & voted to end this unpatriotic ban.

— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) January 25, 2021

“The greatest military in the world will again value readiness over bias, and qualifications over discrimination,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David told HuffPost in an email statement. 

Added GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, “The American people, military leaders, and service members themselves, all overwhelmingly support transgender military service. They know that brave trans patriots have served throughout history and continue to serve honorably and capably, defending our country.”

Trans service members bravely and dutifully serve our country.

Today, Biden fulfilled his promise to rescind Trump’s shameful, discriminatory, and unconstitutional trans military ban. 1/4

— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) January 25, 2021

Thank you @WhiteHouse & thank you @POTUS!

— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) January 25, 2021

Lawmakers, celebrities and and other LGBTQ rights advocates also approved.

Americans who answer the call to serve are heroes—no matter what their gender identity or expression is.@POTUS’s order reversing the abhorrent transgender military ban will make our country safer & stronger.​

NY celebrates with the #LGBTQ community today as this ban is lifted.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 25, 2021


— Cher (@cher) January 25, 2021

God bless you and God bless America.

rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) January 25, 2021

Biden immediately put out a sweeping protection for LGBTQ people and now has undone Trump’s hideous ban on transgender people in the military. And my fellow queers who claimed Biden was just as bad as Trump are suddenly silent for a second.

— michael musto (@mikeymusto) January 25, 2021

Many in the LGBTQ community have expressed hope in Biden, who on the campaign trail signaled his intent to reverse course from the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ platform.

In addition to Monday’s executive order, the president has pledged to prioritize the Equality Act, a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill. Last month, he made history by nominating his former primary rival Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary. If successful, Buttigieg will become the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet post.

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