The White House is expected to repeal former President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military as early as Monday, according to a source familiar with the plans.
The policy, which has been roundly derided by LGBTQ activists as cruel and irrational, was first announced by Trump in July 2017 via Twitter. The ban specifically blocks people who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that people without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.
The White House declined to comment on the plans. White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said in a statement last week that the administration would lift the ban through an executive action in the early days or weeks of Biden’s presidency.
CBS News was first to report the expected repeal coming Monday.
Biden is set to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was confirmed Friday, at the White House this morning alongside the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Some more background on the ban: While Trump had argued that transgender troops in the military would lead to “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” a 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs.
Trump’s decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under former President Barack Obama, which was still under final review, that would have allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the military.
The Trump administration for years had reversed, dropped, removed and withdrawn established LGBTQ protections and had been particularly hostile toward transgender Americans.