January 19, 2021

Palm Center Statement on Lloyd Austin’s Remarks on Transgender Ban During Defense Secretary Confirmation Hearing

Defense-Secretary Designate Signals Quick End to Discriminatory Policy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, has issued a statement about remarks by Defense Secretary-designate Lloyd Austin III on the transgender ban during his Senate confirmation hearing today.

Asked by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York if he could confirm his support for President-elect Joseph Biden’s commitment to make overturning the transgender ban “a day-one priority,” Austin said, “I support the president’s plan… to overturn the ban. I truly believe… that if you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve, and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.”

Belkin said: “It’s heartening that Defense Secretary-designate Lloyd Austin fully understands the urgency of ending the military’s harmful transgender ban. 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.”

The New York Times recently reported that a host of executive actions is expected in the first ten days of his presidency.