On Monday, Jan. 25, the Biden Administration announced that the new president would be signing an executive order nullifying an earlier executive order from former president Donald Trump which largely prevented transgender people from serving in the military.
The Trump executive order, which was originally signed back in 2017 but was not implemented until 2019, also prevented military funds from being used to pay for sex reassignment surgeries. The new Biden executive order abolishes that provision as well.
Return to the Status Quo Ante
Biden’s executive order essentially returns things to the status quo as it existed under Obama up until 2016. At that time, those with gender dysphoria who had not yet undergone sex reassignment surgery or those who identified as transgender could openly identify with the gender of their choice while serving in the military.
The Trump executive order, however, mandated that all those serving in the military formally identify with their biological sex for the entire duration of their service. From the moment that Trump signed his order, absolutely no military funds were to be used to pay for any further sex reassignment surgeries. Exceptions were carved out only for cases where the surgery was needed to “protect the health” of a service member who was already undergoing transition at the time that Trump signed his executive order.
The new Biden executive order undoes all of this.
A Coming Sea Change
This is but one indicator of a broader sea change set to wash over the government as a whole and essentially make things as though the Trump Administration never happened. Biden’s new pick for Secretary of Defense, retired General Lloyd Austin, is the first black man to ever serve in that position. At his Senate confirmation hearing, he voiced support for undoing the Trump transgender ban for the military.
“If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve, and you can expect that I will support that throughout,” Austin said.
Biden has made many other genuflections to left-wing identity politics in his decisions about whom to hire to staff his administration. One other such example was his decision to make a biological man — born Richard Levine but now calling himself Rachel Levine — into his Assistant Health Secretary.
From facts like this, we can expect many changes to occur in government that are similar to that which will be happening in the military.
Critics of allowing open transgenderism in the military say that transgenderism will decrease troop morale. Those opposed to using military funds for sex-change operations also decry this as a waste of valuable military resources.
Questions remain, however. Will biological men transitioning into women have to meet female combat readiness and fitness standards or male standards? Will women transitioning into men have to meet the female standards or the male standards? What effect will this have on not only the overall combat effectiveness of the military but on the relative sex distributions of recruits?
It remains to be seen what the full long-term effects of Biden’s policy shift will be.