Biden overturns transgender military ban, approves use of gender reassignment surgery for soldiers

by Joel Abbott · Jan 25th, 2021 1:12 pm
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Last Updated Jan 29th, 2021 at 5:47 pm

President Biden signed an executive order Monday that lifted the Trump administration's ban on individuals openly identifying as transgender in the military.

The order would also allow for military personnel to receive paid gender reassignment surgeries under their health plans.

"Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force," said the White House in a statement. "Simply put, it's the right thing to do and is in our national interest."

Around 1,000 military members have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, although the Pentagon estimates around 9,000 current members identify as transgender.

Former President Donald Trump re-issued the decades-long ban on individuals openly identifying as transgender in the military after former President Barack Obama removed the ban in early 2016. Trump allowed such individuals to continue to serve as long as they did not require surgeries or hormone therapy. Such treatment cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million each year, according to a 2016 study.

Biden also ordered that military records be amended if any service member was discharged or denied entry due to their gender identity.


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