Joe Biden Lifts Trump's Ban On Transgender Service In US Military
Joe Biden has lifted the ban on transgender people serving in the US military.
It reverses the ban imposed by Donald Trump back in 2017, which itself reversed Barack Obama's decision to allow open service.
A White House spokesperson said: "President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America's strength is found in its diversity.
"Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force. Simply put, it's the right thing to do and is in our national interest."
Last year, Mr Biden, 78, said it was on his agenda to get the Pentagon to let "transgender service members serve openly and free from discrimination in the military" should he win the election.
Mocking the ban back in May, he said: "They can shoot as straight as anybody else can shoot."
The newly appointed Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has also supported the move.
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said: "I support the president's plan to overturn the ban.
"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."
Until a few years ago, those serving could be discharged for being transgender.
However, this changed under the Obama administration, when the then Defence Secretary Ash Carter confirmed that transgender people already serving would be allowed to serve openly.
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Under the rules, the military stated that from 1 July 2017, transgender people would be allowed to enlist.
After he was sworn in, Donald Trump announced that this would be reversed and that they would not be allowed to serve 'in any capacity'.
In a post to his social media account, Trump wrote: "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
In his first few days in office, Mr Biden has signed a number of executive orders overturning policies introduced by the Trump administration.
Some of the orders signed pledge to end the construction of 'The Wall' between Mexico and the US, stop the travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries, and see the US re-join the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organisation.
However, Texas became the first state to sue the administration over the executive order to halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
In documents submitted to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, it's alleged that this goes against immigration law.
It reads: "On its first day in office, the Biden Administration cast aside congressionally enacted immigration laws and suspended the removal of illegal aliens whose removal is compelled by those very laws.
"In doing so, it ignored basic constitutional principles and violated its written pledge to work cooperatively with the State of Texas to address shared immigration enforcement concerns.
"This unlawful reversal will cause Texas immediate and irreparable harm if it is not enjoined."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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