The Pentagon on Wednesday will reverse Trump-era policies on transgender people serving in the military.
The new regulations allow people who have undergone “gender transition” to enlist and serve as their self-identified gender, according to Defense Department officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The changes come after a two-month Pentagon review aimed at developing guidelines for the new policy, which was announced by President Joe Biden just days after he took office in January.
Biden’s executive order immediately overturned Trump administration policy. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin then gave the Pentagon two months to finalize the more detailed regulations that the military will follow.
The new rules also prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity.” Their expected release comes after Biden issued a proclamation marking International Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday.
In 2016, the Pentagon announced that transgender people already serving in the military would be allowed to serve as their self-identified gender, and that by July 2017, people taking hormones or who who undergone “gender transition” would be allowed to enlist.
After Donald Trump took office, however, his administration called for additional study.
The Defense Department in April 2019 approved a policy that has been falsely described as a transgender ban.
The policy barred troops and recruits from “transitioning” to another sex and required most individuals to serve as what the administration called their “birth gender.”
Under that policy, currently serving troops and anyone who had signed an enlistment contract before the effective date could continue with plans for hormone treatments and “gender transition” if they had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
But after that date, no one who was taking hormones or had “transitioned” to another gender was allowed to enlist.
Troops who were already serving and were diagnosed with gender dysphoria were required to serve as their “birth gender” and were barred from taking hormones or receiving transition surgery.
The new policies being released Wednesday are similar to those developed in 2016.
As of 2019, an estimated 14,700 troops on active duty and in the reserves identify as transgender, but not all seek treatment.
Since July 2016, more than 1,500 service members were diagnosed with gender dysphoria; as of Feb. 1, 2019, there were 1,071 currently serving.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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