After President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 25 lifting former President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals being in the military, several LGBTQA+ groups and individuals issued press releases praising the move:
LGBTQ Victory Fund President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker: "Trans servicemembers continued to serve our nation despite a president who disrespected their contributions and who reinstated discrimination for his own political gain. With that stain on our nation removed, trans servicemembers will rise through the ranks and join the military in greater numbers, changing perceptions of trans people in the U.S. and around the world. Our history proves the military is strongest when it makes strides toward becoming more inclusive. Today will further that truth."
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis: "GLAAD salutes transgender service members, their courage and their sacrifice. The American people, military leaders, and service members themselves, all overwhelmingly support transgender military service. They know that brave trans patriots have served throughout history and continue to serve honorably and capably, defending our country. By prioritizing an end to this discriminatory, unjustified ban, President Biden has fulfilled a campaign promise and is making our military stronger and more unified."
Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin: "The ban will now be replaced with a single standard for everyone that, as in the successful previous policy, will apply equally to all service members. This is a major step in the defense not only of America but of American values. We look forward to a speedy implementation of inclusive policy."
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates CEO Erin Uritus: "President Biden's reversal of the transgender military ban is a huge step towards full equality for the LGBTQ community and serves to make us stronger as a nation. It will allow transgender Americans who choose to serve to do so freely, safely, and honorably. With the confirmation of the nation's first Black secretary of defense, General Lloyd Austin, our armed forcesacross all ranksare increasingly looking like the country they so valiantly protect. Their talents will make our military better.
"This reversal demonstrates that for the world's largest employer, the US Defense Department, qualifications for a job should always supersede prejudice. This move will no doubt have reverberations across employers, many of which have invested in programs to support transgender and broader LGBTQ inclusion."
Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project: "This is a victory for our clients who want the opportunity to serve their country openly and freely in our armed forces. Discrimination should have no place in our country and in our federal government. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to quickly resolve our lawsuit and eliminate any remaining barriers to full participation for transgender service members. The ACLU's work to ensure all LGBTQ people can live openly and freely is not over, but today we celebrate and applaud this historic step forward."
National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey: "We are thrilled that today, following the swearing in of the first Black secretary of defense General Lloyd Austin, President Biden signed an executive order overturning the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.
"Once again, qualified, dedicated transgender servicemembers and trans people who have waited to serve our country with honor and respect may bring their talents to every branch of the service."
` Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David: "For years, transgender patriots were forced to continue to hide their identity while serving in our military. But today, thanks to President Joe Biden, Secretary Lloyd Austin, and pro-equality voters across America, they may live and serve openly as themselves. The government will begin the process to eliminate an arbitrary and discriminatory executive action that has not only harmed transgender service members but our entire military.
"The greatest military in the world will again value readiness over bias, and qualifications over discrimination. The order follows the Biden administration's commitment to LGBTQ equality, including the issue of a substantive LGBTQ executive order on Day One that implements the Supreme Court's Bostock ruling. In the coming months, the Human Rights Campaign will work with the White House and Department of Defense to ensure open service proceeds smoothly and ensure every qualified patriot has an equal right to serve openly, free of discrimination."
Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings: "We look forward to turning the page on this dark chapter of our history and returning to the day when transgender people can once again serve their country openly, proudly, and equally. This ban was a low-water mark for our country, which defied the military's own judgment permitting open service, and its reversal marks a recommitment to our country's most basic promise of equality for all. This discriminatory ban cheapened the bravery and patriotism of transgender service members and transgender people seeking to serve. We are grateful to see President Biden take action to relegate it to the trash bin of history, where it belongs."
National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter: "President Biden's order allows us to put this shameful episode behind us and marks the beginning of a much brighter era in which military service is once again based on a person's qualifications, not on who they are. Transgender people have proved their fitness to serve and ask nothing more than the opportunity to do so based on the same standards that apply to others. This is a great day for our nation and a welcome relief from the negative and divisive policies of the past four years."
Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur: "With the stroke of a pen, President Biden has simultaneously put an end to an unpatriotic, discriminatory policy and given hope to thousands of qualified transgender service members and their families."