President Joe Biden, as a part of his numerous executive orders, has repealed the Transgender military ban that was signed into law by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
Biden, who has signed a record 19 executive orders in his first few days in office, takes the action as part of his process of undoing what he perceives as his predecessor’s “damage’” to the country.
What was the ban?
In his first year in office, in 2017, former President Trump announced via Twitter that his administration was to ban all transgender individuals from signing up and serving in the military.
In 2019, there were approximately 8,980 active-duty transgender troops serving across the United States army.
The ban, which came into force in April of 2019, did not affect those troops who were already enlisted; however, it prevented any other transgender individuals from being recruited. Jim Mattis, the Defence Secretary at the time of the ban, stated the policy would only apply to individuals who “a history of gender dysphoria, or when a person’s biological sex and identity do not match”.
The Trump administration confirmed reasoning for this ban, citing the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military and be out on deployment.
Why has Biden repealed it?
The repeal of this ban is just one of the numerous Trump policies that President Biden has overturned in the last few days, which includes a middle eastern travel ban.
President Biden signed a record 17 executive orders on his first day in office, many of which were signed to overturn numerous Trump policies.
His latest order of overturning the Transgender military ban takes him well above the number of orders given by previous presidents in the first week.
Biden, who promised in his campaign to overturn this ban, wanted to use his first full week as President to advance quality and support numerous minority communities, according to Ron Klain, the new chief of staff at the White House.
After President Biden signed the executive order to repeal the ban, the White House released a statement, citing 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”.
Biden’s new Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has also released a statement saying that the Department of Defence will get to work immediately to ensure that “individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and allowed to serve”.