WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after the Biden Administration announced it will repeal the Trump Administration’s discriminatory and restrictive policy that blocked transgendered individuals from serving in the U.S. military, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a West Point graduate and the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“Every American with the skills and qualifications who meets the high standards to serve in our military deserves that opportunity.  And every service member deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

“Donald Trump’s efforts to restrict service by transgender persons wasn’t rooted in facts or sound personnel policy.  It was driven by politics, not national security.

“I commend President Biden for reversing this discriminatory policy.  This move ensures that patriotic, talented transgender Americans have the opportunity to openly serve in our Armed Forces and contribute to our national defense.  We must not allow bigotry to impede our military’s critical mission.”

Last Congress, Reed teamed up with U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) on bipartisan legislation to protect transgender service members.  Their bill (S. 373) sought to protect currently serving transgender service members and continue to allow new transgender service members to join the military.

Reed also helped lead Senate Armed Services Committee hearings where the Chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Commandant of the Marine Corps all testified that open transgender service has had no negative effect on unit cohesion, discipline, or morale.  The Commandant of the Coast Guard separately testified to the same effect.