California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s order reversing the previous administration’s steps to bar transgender individuals from joining and serving openly in the military.
“Equality and diversity are and must always be core values of our military, and every qualified American who wants to serve our country in uniform should be able to do so,” said Secretary Imbasciani. “I commend President Biden for taking this important, inclusive step.”
The new order immediately bars service members from being discharged or denied reenlistment for their gender identity. It also directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to correct the record of anyone dismissed from service solely for their gender identity.
The 2019 DOD order that imposed tight limits on service by transgender individuals followed a Twitter proclamation by President Trump in 2017, reversed earlier policies issued by the Obama administration.
“This discriminatory policy was essentially don’t ask don’t tell for transgender service members,” said Imbasciani. “As a member of the LGBTQ community and as a military physician who served 26 years, much of it under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ I know firsthand how painful, frightening, and demoralizing it is to have to serve in the shadows and hide who you are.”