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Joe Biden Praised for 'Doing the Right Thing' as Netizens Hail Reversal of Military's Trans Ban

Under Biden’s new policy, transgender servicemembers won’t be discharged based on gender identity,

Under Biden’s new policy, transgender servicemembers won’t be discharged based on gender identity,

Biden's move was hailed by many on social media as they felt it was a great injustice done to the transgender community by depriving them of the choice to want to serve their country.

President Joe Biden signed an order Monday reversing a Trump-era Pentagon policy that largely barred transgender individuals from serving in the military.

The new order, which Biden signed in the Oval Office during a meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, overturns a ban ordered by President Donald Trump. Biden’s order says that gender identity should not be a bar to military service.

America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception,” the order says. “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, its the right thing to do and is in our national interest. Biden also posted the same on his official Twitter handle.

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Biden's move was hailed by many on social media as they felt it was a great injustice done to the transgender community by depriving them of the choice to want to serve their country.

The order directs the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to take steps to implement the order for the military and the Coast Guard. And it says they must reexamine the records of service members who were discharged or denied reenlistment due to gender identity issues earlier.

The policy has seen a few changes over the year. Up until a few years ago service members could be discharged from the military for being transgender, but that changed during the Obama regime. In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender people already serving in the military would be allowed to serve openly.

After Trump took office, however, his administration delayed the enlistment date and called for additional study to determine if allowing transgender individuals to serve would affect military readiness or effectiveness.

A few weeks later, Trump caught military leaders by surprise, tweeting that the government wouldn’t accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the military. He elaborated on his decision by saying that "military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened" by additional costs of surgery and other needs of the people serving.

however, in 2019, after a long drawn legal battle, the Defense Department in April 2019 agreed to the new policy but did not allow a full ban. It however prevented transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex and said most individuals to serve in their birth gender.

As of 2019, an estimated 14,700 troops on active duty and in the Reserves identify as transgender, but not all seek treatment.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

first published:January 26, 2021, 16:50 IST
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