Biden to repeal Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in military ‘imminently’

Andrew Buncombe
·1 min read
Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops sparked outcry (Getty Images)
Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops sparked outcry (Getty Images)

Joe Biden is poised to repeal Donald Trump's ban on transgender people enlisting in the US military.

Mr Trump’s order went into effect in spring 2019, reversing a decision by Barack Obama, whose administration had said transgender people could openly serve.

Under the directive, currently-serving transgender individuals who have received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria could continue to serve in their preferred gender and undergo gender-affirming surgery.

However, it prevented people who had not fully undergone gender transition to enlist.

“I have great respect for the community. I think I have great support – or I've had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes,” said Mr Trump at the time. “But the transgender – the military is working on it now. They're doing the work. It's been a very difficult situation.”

Reuters reported that the new policy could be announced as early as Monday.

The White House did not respond to enquiries from The Independent, while the Pentagon directed questions back to the White House.

There are about 1.3 million active personnel serving in the US military, but no official figures on the number of trans members are available.

Mr Biden's plan to repeal the ban is supported by newly confirmed defence secretary Lloyd Austin.

‘If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve and you can expect that I will support that throughout,” Mr Austin said at his confirmation hearing.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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