Here we go: Biden’s Pentagon pick supports lifting transgender military ban

Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, said Tuesday he supports overturning the Trump administration’s ban on most transgender military service.

“I support the president’s plan to overturn the ban,” Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing Tuesday. “I truly believe, senator, as I said in my opening statement, that if you are fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.

That Biden’s nominee supports his plan to overturn a controversial Trump administration policy is not surprising, but the unequivocal answer will reassure advocates who have been pushing Biden to quickly reverse the policy.

“It’s heartening that Defense Secretary-designate Lloyd Austin fully understands the urgency of ending the military’s harmful transgender ban,” Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, said in a statement Tuesday. “Very little needs to be done administratively to finally end discrimination against transgender troops, and we look forward to the arrival of fully inclusive policy very soon.”

During the presidential campaign, Biden indicated that lifting the ban on transgender military service would be a “day one” priority, but the transition has not confirmed the exact timing of when Biden will act on the matter.

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Source: the Hill