Biden Is Getting Rid of Trump's Trans Military Ban

Illustration for article titled Biden Is Getting Rid of Trump's Trans Military Ban
Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP (Getty Images)

Biden is expected to overturn Trump’s ban on transgender troops as early as Monday, in one of several executive orders he has poised for his first week in office.


Though the ban was allowed to go into effect in January 2019, following a Supreme Court ruling, the Pentagon didn’t begin formally implementing the military ban until that April, barring anyone who had transitioned or was currently taking hormones from enlisting. The rule also stipulated that any trans troops already serving at that time would have to serve under their sex assigned at birth, and would not be allowed to take hormones or seek out gender-affirming surgery.

Incredibly, the Department of Defense maintained that nothing about this policy constituted a “ban”: “Under the new policy, if they transitioned prior, they would not be eligible for accession into the military,” a Defense official told the press at the time. “I really don’t get any logic to how this gets you to this is a ban on transgender service.” (No need to try to wrap one’s head around that logic any longer.)

The ACLU led the legal battle against the Trump-era ban with a suit on behalf of five trans service-members, arguing that the rule violated their constitutional rights and discriminated against them. The case did not succeed in court. But according to the Associated Press, its arguments will soon be vindicated by Biden’s executive action, which is backed by his newly-minted Defense secretary, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin.

“I support the president’s plan or plan to overturn the ban,” Austin said during his confirmation hearing last week. “If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.”

Abolish the trans military ban? Check. (Upset the TERFS again? Also check, probably.) Now do the military industrial complex.

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.



Yet again, Biden reaching for low hanging fruit supported by a clear majority of the country (not a criticism), while Republicans whine about how undoing Trump’s unpopular agenda is somehow abandoning his pledge for unity, i.e. somehow Biden is being divisive by doing things a majority of the country supports. You love to see it! Trump was unpopular, and his policies were unpopular, and I’m glad Biden hasn’t, as of yet, let his “unity” rhetoric be weaponized by Republicans, and is instead letting them fall all over themselves to tie themselves to an agenda that was always unpopular and that led them to go from having complete power four years ago to being completely out of power now.