President Joe Biden on Monday morning signed a new executive order that overturns President Donald Trump’s ban on the service of transgender individuals in the U.S. military.
Biden signed the order in the Oval Office but took no questions at all afterward. His staff quickly ushered out the assembled reporters.
The Biden White House, the executive order says, establishes “the policy that all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve.”
It also says, “Simply put, transgender servicemembers will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity; transgender servicemembers can serve in their gender when their transition is complete and the gender marker in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is changed and transgender servicemembers should know that they are accepted throughout the U.S. military.”
The new commander-in-chief said he “believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” according to a White House statement provided to American Military News. “The All-Volunteer Force thrives when it is composed of diverse Americans who can meet the rigorous standards for military service, and an inclusive military strengthens our national security.”
See the following tweets with more details.
Trump’s policy had restricted transgendered persons from military service and noted that any individual under treatment for gender dysphoria would be disqualified from such service.
The Biden order also instructs Lloyd Austin—just confirmed days ago as Defense secretary—and acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske to produce a report, to be filed to the White House within 60 days, about the new directive’s implementation.
The earlier Trump policy had referenced the results of a study done within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
“Based on the work of the Panel and the Department’s best military judgment,” that Trump Defense Department memorandum stated, “the Department of Defense concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender. Furthermore, the Department also finds that exempting such persons from well-established mental health, physical health, and sex-standards, which apply to all Service members, including transgender Service members without gender dysphoria, could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.”
Many on the left were quick to laud the new Biden executive action, part of a flurry of such actions—which, taken together since the inauguration, can be seen as a defiant and in-your-face rebuke of many Trump administration policies.
See these tweets:
Many on the right, however, are extremely concerned that Biden’s array of orders—including those he issued on his first day in the White House—are, in effect, comprising an “America Last” policy as opposed to Trump’s multiple “America First” initiatives.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized Biden for putting the interests of others ahead of our nation.
See this tweet below with his comments.
On Monday, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) told “Fox & Friends First” that Biden “can talk about unity, but right off the bat, he goes and, by executive order, gets rid of the Keystone Pipeline project, he rejoins the Paris Climate Accord, he tries to double the minimum wage. These are issues that Republicans have fought for because Republicans have been focused on the economy,” Comer continued.
“And on the first day in the first hour of the job, he [Biden] does all of this without consulting with Republicans, without committee hearings—and he spooks the private sector at a time when we’re trying to get Americans back to work,” Comer also said on the Fox News Channel.
There are reports that all this week, Biden will continue to issue a slew of executive mandates from the Oval Office, all designed to overturn Trump administration policy in one way or another.
Biden has halted construction of the border wall—an act that is tremendously controversial, as many Americans remain opposed to an influx of illegal immigrants into the country as a time when we’re battling the coronavirus pandemic and when there are continued concerns about national security.
Last Wednesday alone, as a report in The Federalist noted, Biden signed six executive orders related to immigration and the border, undoing Trump’s directives on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and “even suggesting U.S. immigration law should replace the word ‘alien’ with ‘noncitizen,’” as The Federalist pointed out.
And see these tweets with additional information about, and reaction to, Biden’s executive orders:
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This article was written by Maureen Mackey. She is a writer, editor, and digital content strategist.