GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – President Joe Biden is getting rid of an administration policy under former President Donald Trump that kept transgender people out of the military.
Now, no service member can be forced out of the military because of their gender identity. Lifting the ban is drawing praise from the LGBTQ+ community but criticism from conservatives.
Biden signed the executive order Monday, saying “What I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform.”
People have been fighting for equality within the military for decades. Former President Harry Truman ordered an end to racial segregation in the services in 1948. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” prevented gay people from serving openly until President Barack Obama ended the policy in 2011.
People within the LGBTQ+ community say the transgender policy may be gone, but it won’t end bigotry within the services.
“It remains in far too many quarters, including our military leadership and our halls of government,” said Noah Ambrose, the chairman of the LGBTQ+ Young Democrats of N.C. “I think that’s something that can only be fixed with education and with codified nondiscrimination protections.”
Ambrose wants more non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people put into law for civilians with housing, access to credit and more.
Biden’s executive order also directs the defense and homeland security departments to reexamine service members’ records. It’s aimed at looking into cases for people discharged or denied reenlistment due to gender identity issues.