Biden Throws Out Trump’s Ban On Transgender Military Members

Activists participate in a rally at the Reflecting Pool of the Capitol on April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC to rally against the transgender military service ban. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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January 25, 2021 9:11 a.m.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescinding former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals in the military 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 White House said in a statement. “This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive.”

Trump announced the ban several months into his presidency, claiming that the military would be “burdened” with “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail.”

He had been given falsely inflated estimates of the cost of sex-reassignment surgery at the time, journalist Bob Woodward reported in his book. Trump complained about the expense in a transphobic rant to then-White House senior aide Steve Bannon before issuing the ban.

“What the fuck? They’re coming in here, they’re getting clipped,” Trump reportedly griped. “Not going to happen.”

The Supreme Court upheld the administration’s ban in January 2019.

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