Biden’s reversal of transgender military ban seen as ‘victory’ for equality

'Freedom to live your truth and an understanding that our country’s greatest strength is in our diversity,' says US Rep. Anthony Brown

The effort to overturn former President Donald Trump’s discriminatory practices is underway. From the Oval Office, President Joe Biden at his desk with a pen in hand announced: “Transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way can serve their government in the United States military.”

There is a rapid response to the president’s executive order.

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House Majority Whip Congressman James Clyburn tweeted: “Our military is strongest when all are welcome to serve based on their skills and qualifications — not barred because of their gender identity. President Biden’s executive order rightly reverses the previous administration’s harmful ban on transgender Americans serving openly.”

President Biden signed an executive order allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military while Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Gen. Loyd Austin, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley were on hand to see the historic moment.

PJ Crowley, retired Air Force colonel and former Obama assistant secretary of state tells theGrio that “anyone who meets military standards should be able to serve.”

“This restores the policy that existed before the Trump administration. President Trump tweeted a policy change that had much more to do with domestic politics than military readiness,” Crowley said. “This reversal reflects President Biden’s strong belief that the government, including the military, should include representation from all facets of American society.”

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Flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R), U.S. President Joe Biden signs an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on January 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Democratic Maryland Congressman Anthony Brown, who serves as the vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee, called Biden’s order today a “victory.”

“All Americans should be allowed to serve their country no matter who they are or who they love. By reversing former President Trump’s bigoted ban on transgender Americans serving our country in uniform, President Biden has aligned our military with the values they defend around the globe,” said Brown. “Freedom to live your truth and an understanding that our country’s greatest strength is in our diversity.”

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Rep. Brown added, “It wasn’t long ago when arguments like ‘disruption’ and ‘not a social experiment’ were used to keep women, African Americans and gays and lesbians from fully participating in our military services. More than 14,700 soldiers who put their lives on the line to defend our country have worried for years that they would be discharged or denied the opportunity to serve simply because they are transgender.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) (Photo: U.S. House of Representatives)

“Young people with an interest in service were deterred from enlisting because of this ban. Transgender Americans are just as capable and as willing to serve. They should be allowed to do so without fear or having to hide their identity.”

The ban on transgender people serving in the military was unveiled on Twitter by the President Donald Trump in July 2017. He argued it would lead to “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”  

Ultimately, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump transgender military ban to go into effect in January 2019.

As a rebuke to the ban, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution a few months later opposing the ban citing it as “flawed” in its claims.

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