Washington, D.C. — On Monday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order reversing the previous administration’s discriminatory ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.
The 2017 directive was not made in consultation with top U.S. Department of Defense officials and was in fact met with widespread condemnation from within the military community itself. In contrast, President Biden’s decision was endorsed by his new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who told Congress just last week that he fully supported the decision to reverse the discriminatory policy.
In response to the executive order signing, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
President Biden’s executive order rescinding the ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military is another important step toward reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to equal rights and protections under the law for LGBTQ Americans.
Donald Trump’s ban was dehumanizing, harmful to military readiness, and rooted in the same bigotry that defined his entire administration. Military personnel disagreed with it. Human rights activists disagreed with it. The American people disagreed with it. President Biden’s swift and decisive action to repeal the ban ensures that no American will be forced to choose between living openly as themselves and serving their country.
There is still much work to be done, including the passage of the Equality Act in Congress. But in just its first week, the Biden administration has reversed many of the worst policies of the previous four years.
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