Editorial: Transgender military ban was always divisive

Staff Editorial

It has been reported that President Joe Biden is preparing to issue an executive order that will reverse the controversial transgender military ban enacted early in President Trump’s term.

We at The Daily Eastern News believe that this is a very good thing for Biden to do as one of his first actions in office.

The transgender ban was a pointless policy that only divided Americans needlessly.

There was absolutely no reason to exclude transgender individuals from the military. There is also no reason to assume that someone’s ability to serve in the military would be affected by their sexual orientation or identity in any way.

Biden’s selection for defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, made this point during his confirmation hearing.

“I support the president’s plan or plan to overturn the ban,” Austin said. “If you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.”

For those unfamiliar, Trump’s transgender ban actually stopped short of fully banning transgender individuals from joining the military, but was very restrictive and required most people to serve under their birth gender only.

Biden’s reversal of this policy should be a moment that most Americans can agree is good, but many people still do not understand or wish to understand transgender issues.

This willful ignorance is part of the reason why Trump felt he could pass the ban in the first place.

Americans love to talk about unity but many refuse to take the steps to make that a reality.

Rejecting divisive policies is a good first step to make unity an actuality.