WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Joe Biden is poised to repeal his predecessor Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people enlisting in the US military, a person familiar with the matter said.
The source, who spoke to Reuters anonymously because the action is not yet public, said Mr Biden could lift the ban as soon as Monday (Jan 25). The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The plan marks the latest effort by the Biden administration to roll back many of Mr Trump’s policies.
Mr Trump announced the ban in July 2017, reversing a landmark decision by his predecessor, Barack Obama, which allowed transgender people to serve openly and receive medical care to transition genders.
According to US Department of Defence data, there are about 1.3 million active personnel serving in the US military, but no official figures on the number of trans members are available.
While transgender military personnel under Mr Trump’s policy were allowed to keep serving, new recruits were kept out.
Mr Biden’s plan to repeal the ban is supported by newly confirmed Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve and you can expect that I will support that throughout,” Mr Austin said at his confirmation hearing.
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