President Joe Biden lifted the ban on transgender people serving in the military by former President Donald Trump.
"President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a barrier to military service and that America's strength lies in its diversity," a White House bulletin said.
The President signed an ordinance lifting the ban this morning. The order lifts the ban entirely, prohibits the military from re-admitting or refusing anyone based on their gender identity, and instructs Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries to begin the process of openly serving transgender people.
"If you are fit, qualified and able to meet the standards, you should be allowed to serve," said new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a retired military general.
Biden had long campaigned for the ban to be lifted, which has been heavily criticized since Trump's announcement in 2017. The ban came into force in April 2019. The Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to enforce the ban following a ruling in January 2019.
Alan is a New York-based writer, editor, and news junkie.