President Joe Biden in an executive order on Monday reversed former President Donald Trump’s military transgender policy that required military recruits to serve in their biological gender.
The White House issued a fact sheet on the executive order that said:
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 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 US military.
Although Trump’s policy was frequently referred to as a “transgender ban,” it did not ban transgender members of the military. It allowed for transgender recruits to serve as long as they served in their biological gender and did not suffer from gender dysphoria, a condition of distress when someone’s gender identity differs from their biological gender.
The executive order was issued and signed ahead of a meeting between Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the White House.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) cheered the executive order in a statement:
In just the first week of the Biden administration, the President has delivered on a number of promises that will help create a more perfect union that reflects our values. Today, by reversing the harmful, discriminatory policy of the previous administration, President Biden has ensured that thousands of transgender service members will be able to serve as their authentic selves.
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office, also praised the move. Its president and CEO Annise Parker said in a statement:
Trans servicemembers continued to serve our nation despite a president who disrespected their contributions and who reinstated discrimination for his own political gain. With that stain on our nation removed, trans servicemembers will rise through the ranks and join the military in greater numbers, changing perceptions of trans people in the U.S. and around the world.
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins, a Marine veteran, criticized the order as a diversion of time and money:
In one of his first acts as commander-in-chief, President Biden is redirecting the military’s focus from where it has been and where it belongs — fighting and winning wars. Political correctness doesn’t win wars, but the president is indulging dangerous and unproven theories that have the potential to undermine national security.
As president-elect, Joe Biden promised to bring unity to our country. Providing our servicemembers with the resources to keep our country safe would help move our country in this direction. Instead, President Biden is diverting precious dollars from mission-critical training to something as controversial as gender reassignment surgery. The military cannot focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars when it is being used as a vehicle to advance the far Left’s social agenda.
As our nation faces serious national security threats, our troops shouldn’t be forced to endure hours of transgender ‘sensitivity’ classes and politically-correct distractions like this one.
FRC Executive Vice President Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin added:
Every cent spent on this politically-correct exercise is money that could be used to prepare our troops for war. Every second wasted in ‘transgender sensitivity training’ is time that could be spent on the rifle range. I’m appalled that our commander-in-chief is more focused on appeasing special interest groups than on military readiness.
Trump’s transgender policy came after military service chiefs at the time requested a review of the policy under the Obama administration, according to a senior Pentagon official.
Anthony Kurta told reporters at the time, “When Secretary Mattis came in to office, he was approached by the service leadership because we were getting ready to, under the 2016 [former Defense Secretary Ash] Carter policy, we were getting close to starting the accession of transgender individuals.”
The service leaders expressed some readiness reservations to the secretary, and he said therefore, ‘I will take a look at the policy,’ and he ordered a review of that policy, later to include empaneling the panel of experts and then that panel made a recommendation to the secretary. He took that onboard, gave his best military advice to the president, the president approved that recommendation and told him to go ahead and implement the policy.
This story is developing…