PHOENIX – In 2017, the Trump Administration cruelly blocked individuals who had been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving in the military with limited exceptions. It also specified that individuals could only serve if they did so according to the sex they were assigned at birth. But today, President Biden reversed this policy.
President Biden’s reversal of the ban is similar to one made by former President Obama, who in 2016 allowed transgender people to serve in the military freely. The policy also provided medical care to those in the process of transitioning genders.
During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he supports reversing the ban.
Thousands of transgender Americans already serve in the military. A 2016 Department of Defense survey estimated that 8,980 active-duty troops were transgender. It is estimated that an additional 5,727 transgender people were in the Selected Reserve, bringing the total estimated number of transgender troops serving in 2016 to 14,707
“Arizona Democrats have long believed that our military should reflect our country’s diversity and if you’re qualified to serve, you should be allowed to do so regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation,” said Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Matt Grodsky, “We applaud the Biden Administration’s reversal of this draconian ban.”