Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 25, 2021 / 11:00 am (CNA).- President Joe Biden on Monday revoked a ban on gender transitioning in the military, allowing troops to serve on the basis of their gender identity.
The White House on Monday announced that President Biden signed an executive order reversing certain Trump-era orders on transgender service in the military.
The previous orders had prohibited gender-transitioning by servicemembers while in the military, and barred acceptance of recruits with a current diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” a fact-sheet released by the White House stated on Monday.
Biden’s order prohibits certain military actions taken against servicemembers because of gender-transitioning, such as “involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service.” The new order allows troops to “serve in their gender when transition is complete.”
Trump first announced the transgender military ban in 2017. In Jan., 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the ban, but in the next month the Defense Department announced a new policy allowing for people identifying as transgender to serve in the military, under certain exceptions.
Under the revised policy, soldiers identifying as transgender could not have already transitioned from their biological sex. Further, they could not undergo gender-transition surgery while serving, and could not have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. They had to serve under their biological sex.
In addition, military recruits with a history of gender dysphoria had to prove they had identified with their biological sex for three years and had not transitioned their gender.
A 2016 assessment by the RAND Corporation estimated around 2,450 transgender active military personnel out of approximately 1.3 million members.
In 2017, when former President Trump first announced the administration’s decision to ban gender transitioning in the military, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, said the decision was correct but did not fully address “the dignity of the human person” in emphasizing the practical consequences of the policy, such as military readiness, over the spiritual consequences.
The Church teaches that human beings are created “in the image and likeness of God,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio stated, emphasizing that “personal choices in life, whether regarding the protection of the unborn, the sanctity of marriage and the family, or the acceptance of a person’s God-created biology, should be made not solely for a penultimate reality on this earth but in anticipation of the ultimate reality of sharing in the very life of God in heaven.”
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