Joe Biden has overturned a controversial ban on transgender people serving in the US military, saying “America’s strength is found in its diversity”.
The US president had vowed to reverse the ban, imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump, during the 2020 election campaign.
“President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” the White House said in a statement.
“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. Simply put, it’s the right thing to do and is in our national interest,” it said.
President Barack Obama moved in 2016 to allow trans people to serve openly and receive medical care to transition genders, but Mr Trump’s ban had essentially put an end to the initiative. Transgender people already serving in the military were allowed to remain in the service.