During Biden’s Presidential campaign he claimed that lifting the ban on transgender service members would be a “day one” priority, according to The Hill.
It’s not clear if Biden will in fact act on his claim regarding the issue.
Nicolas Talbott, a transgender, said, “This is something I’ve been waiting a very long time for, so obviously I would love to see this go through as quickly as possible.”
“When the ban is finally lifted it will be like a giant weight off my shoulders.”
“This is something I feel very passionately about not only for myself but for thousands of other people out there just like me who have been waiting for years to finally be able to begin our lives and our careers.”
Biden said, “From the moment I am sworn in as president of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.”
A Biden spokesperson said, “The president-elect remains steadfastly committed to his plan to advance LGBTQ+ equality, including directing [the Defense Department] to allow transgender service members to serve openly and free from discrimination.”
Biden said, “Day one of my presidency, I will begin reinstating LGBTQ protections President Trump has rolled back, including ensuring transgender individuals can openly serve in the military.”
Jennifer Levi said, “It is so straightforward, at this point, to fix. It’s a fix with the stroke of a pen. It’s keeping people who want to serve their country from being able to do so, and so the fact that we are facing a pandemic and a lot of other concerns at this point makes it even that much more important to ensure that people who want to serve their country and who can meet all the criteria to do so are able to.”
Aaron Belkin said, “What I would expect will happen if he lives up to his campaign pledge is he’ll instruct the Defense secretary to implement inclusive policy and then the defense secretary will issue — actually, it’s not even issuing new regulations.”
“It’s just canceling the Trump regulations. President-elect Biden has said he’s going to order the Pentagon to implement new policy on day one, and I have every reason to believe that that’s what he’s gonna do.”
Talbott said, “The longer this ban goes on, the more detrimental it is not only to the lives of the transgender people it’s affecting directly, but to the United States military and national security as a whole.”
“There are thousands of qualified, capable, willing people out there who are ready to go in tomorrow and put our lives, put our names on that dotted line stating that we will give up to and including our lives for our country. And every day that we are not able to do that, it’s detrimental to our country as a whole.”
More from The Hill:
In 2018, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis released a policy meant to fulfill Trump’s order that bars most transgender people from serving in the military unless they do so in their biological sex, and in 2019, that policy took effect.
The Trump administration denies the policy is a ban because of some limited exceptions. For example, the policy allows transgender troops and recruits to seek a waiver to serve openly. It also allows those who came out under the Obama administration’s policy to continue serving openly.
The military is only known to have granted one waiver since the policy took effect, and opponents of the policy say the data show it effectively is a ban akin to the defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that banned open service by gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.