US President Joe Biden has overturned Donald Trump’s ban on transgender Americans joining the US military.
The ban was announced by Donald Trump during his first year in office in a surprise blast of tweets.
But now Joe Biden has signed an executive order directing the Department of Defence to scrap the transphobic policy.
“Transgender servicemembers will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity,” the White House said in a statement.
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity.
“America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception.”
Biden’s order also directs officials to immediately correct military records of anyone affected by Trump’s ban.
Biden’s new Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, a retired army general, said immediate action will follow the executive order.
“The Department will immediately take appropriate policy action to ensure individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and serve in their self-identified gender,” he said.
“The United States Armed Forces are in the business of defending our fellow citizens from our enemies, foreign and domestic.
“I believe we accomplish that mission more effectively when we represent all our fellow citizens.”
Trump transgender military ban took effect in April 2019
Donald Trump announced on Twitter in 2017 that the US military would no longer “accept or allow” transgender Americans to serve “in any capacity”.
Trump cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” but a 2016 Department of Defense study disproved his claim.
The Trump administration’s ban took effect in April 2019, amid ongoing legal challenges by LGBTIQ activists.
Transgender military personnel already serving could continue, however the policy banned new recruits.
There were 8,980 active duty transgender troops in 2019, according to Department of Defense data.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.