President Joe Biden will lift the ban prohibiting transgender people from openly serving in the military, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Wednesday statement according to NBC News.
Psaki said the reversal would be included in “additional executive actions” expected “in the coming days weeks,” according to NBC News. Previously, Biden pledged during the campaign to lift the ban on his first day in office.
Shortly after taking the oath of office, the president signed several executive orders, reversing several of former President Donald Trump’s policies. The orders included making the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, mandate masks and social distancing on federal properties and vowed support for “underserved communities.” (RELATED: Biden’s Chief Of Staff Directs All Executive Agencies To Immediately Freeze Trump’s ‘Midnight Regulations’)
Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, voiced his support Tuesday to overturn the transgender ban, NBC News reported. However, the Senate still needs to confirm Austin for the Cabinet position.
“I truly believe, senator, as I said in my opening statement, that if you are fit and you’re qualified to serve, and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve,” Austin told senators during his confirmation hearing, according to NBC News.
In 2017, Trump announced that transgender individuals would be barred from serving in the military via Twitter, claiming the armed forces could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” according to NBC News.