By Leah Rodriquez: Staff Writer
On Monday, January 25, President Biden repealed the Trump administration’s ban on transgender personnel serving in the U.S. military, in order to take action towards his campaign promises regarding discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
The decision repeals a 2019 Defense Department order that restricted transgender people to serve in the military unless they had not been officially medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria, had not begun medically transitioning, and could meet uniform standards for the gender they were assigned at birth. This order shows that the new administration intends on moving away from the series of decisions made by the Trump administration, which erased protections for transgender people in many regards including medical care, housing, employment, and other areas.
According to an article from the Washington Post, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the new regulations will also ensure that the military pays for any medically-necessary care related to gender transition, in addition to halting the steps that forced transgender personnel out of the military.
The executive order addresses many people’s concerns that the Trump administration’s restriction would greatly limit qualified service members and lifting it, Biden said, would make for a more effective force. In an article from NBC News, it states that ¨President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service and that America’s strength is found in its diversity.”