Biden Overturns Ban on Transgender People Serving in the U.S. Military

The move to reverse the policy has the support of Biden’s newly confirmed defense secretary, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin

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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 14, 2021
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., January 14, 2021Credit: TOM BRENNER/ REUTERS

President Joe Biden on Monday overturned a controversial ban by his predecessor on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military, a move that fulfills a campaign promise and will be cheered by LGBTQ advocates.

"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 White House said in a statement.

"Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force. Simply put, it's the right thing to do and is in our national interest," it said.

Former Democratic President Barack Obama in 2016 allowed trans people to serve openly and receive medical care to transition genders, but Republican President Donald Trump froze their recruitment while allowing serving personnel to remain.

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