WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order seeking to repeal his predecessor Donald Trump’s ban on most transgender people serving in the military.
The executive order “sets the policy that all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.
“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 statement 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,” the statement said.The order also directs the immediate “correction of” military records for any who had been affected by Trump’s ban.
However, the order doesn’t at once undo all restrictions on transgender service, said Chris Johnson, White House reporter for Washington Blade, which is a top LGBT news source since 1969.
“For now, gender dysphoria aren’t cause for discharge, but trans enlistments are still on hold,” Johnson tweeted, adding that the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security must produce a report within 60 days after consultation with Joint Chiefs.
The Barack Obama administration, in which Biden was vice president, enabled transgender people to serve openly in the military in 2016. But in 2017, Trump tweeted he would reverse the policy, saying he would “not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
The Pentagon in 2019 implemented a policy meant to fulfill Trump’s order that bars most transgender people from serving in the military unless they do so in their biological sex.