Biden lifting Trump's transgender military ban

Betsy Kelin & Arlette Saenz Via CNN

President Joe Biden is signing an executive order Monday to reverse a Trump-era ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

The executive order “sets the policy that all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve,” per the White House.

Biden, the White House said, “believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity.”

The executive action revokes Trump's 2018 presidential memorandum and also confirms the revocation of the presidential memorandum of August 25, 2017.

Biden is meeting this morning with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was confirmed Friday, alongside the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Some background on the ban: The policy, which has been roundly derided by LGBTQ activists as cruel and irrational, was first announced by Trump in July 2017 via Twitter. The ban specifically blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions.

It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

While Trump had argued that transgender troops in the military would lead to "tremendous medical costs and disruption," a 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a "minimal impact" on readiness and health care costs.

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