Washington, 25 January 2021 (dpa/MIA) – US President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order allowing all qualified citizens into the armed forces, reversing the previous administration’s ban on openly transgender people serving.
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” the White House said in a statement.
Former president Donald Trump first announced a ban on openly transgender people serving in the military via Tweet in 2017, arguing that the medical expenses for transgender individuals were too high.
The Biden administration, however, cited a 2016 report by the Department of Defense that found transgender individuals in the US military had only a minimal impact on healthcare costs.
“The study also concluded that open transgender service has had no significant impact on operational effectiveness or unit cohesion in foreign militaries,” the White House noted.
The study estimated that there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people in the US military.