President Biden reversed his predecessor’s ban on transgender troops serving within the navy, administration officers introduced Monday, shifting forcefully right into a social situation that has tangled the Pentagon over the previous 5 years.
The White House introduced the transfer as Mr. Biden met within the Oval Office with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The transfer was anticipated, as Mr. Biden indicated in November that he would work to revive Obama-era protections for transgender folks, which have been reversed by former President Donald J. Trump.
But the swiftness signaled a willingness by the brand new Biden administration to place its personal stamp on Defense Department social points. It follows an announcement from Mr. Austin on Saturday that he was ordering up a overview of how the Pentagon has been dealing with sexual assault points.
Mr. Biden and the Defense Department management may even should wrestle with a counting on race that’s dealing with the Pentagon, the place officers have needed to confront a stark reality: shut to 1 in 5 of the protesters who’ve been arrested for breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6 — lots of them with hyperlinks to white supremacist organizations — have ties to the American navy.
On the transgender situation, advocacy teams which have been preventing the ban because it was introduced three years in the past — in a tweet from Mr. Trump — have argued that the Pentagon doesn’t have to spend months finding out the best way to permit transgender folks to serve as a result of it had already performed so. One such group, the Palm Center, mentioned in a coverage memo final summer season that the navy might reopen to transgender folks quickly if ordered to take action.
“A big ship can take time to turn around, so often the Pentagon needs to study policy changes and move cautiously,” Aaron Belkin, the director of the Palm Center, mentioned final July in an interview. “But this is the rare case where, since the military left inclusive policy for already-serving transgender personnel in place even as it implemented its ban, the switch is just waiting to be flipped.”
The Trump ban had primarily ended an Obama administration initiative to permit transgender troops to serve overtly within the navy.