WASHINGTON — Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) on Jan. 23 released this statement after President Biden signed an executive order reversing the discriminatory trans military ban:

“By reversing the discriminatory trans military ban, President Biden is signaling to all of our troops that their service is welcome and appreciated in the United States of America. To have this be one of his first acts as commander in chief is a relief after four years of bigoted attacks against trans people, and it’s a major step toward creating a welcoming culture in our armed forces for all LGBTQ+ servicemembers.

“This executive order honors the service of brave trans servicemembers who have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedoms and it opens the door for their continued service to our country. All who are qualified to serve should be able to do so – America will be stronger because of it.”

Takano is the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a combat veteran of the Iraq War, said, “Donald Trump’s transgender military ban was as heartless as it was dangerous, hampering troops’ morale and hurting our military readiness. If you are willing to sacrifice for our country in uniform and you can do the job, you should have that opportunity — no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation.

“I’m thankful President Joe Biden made rescinding this discriminatory Trump policy a priority in his first full week in office. Our national security, our military and our entire country is stronger when they are more inclusive.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said, “Thank you, President Joe Biden, for ending this hateful policy. Americans who want to serve should be judged on their qualifications, not their gender. This is what unity looks like.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said, “Thank you to President Biden for ending Trump’s disgraceful transgender military ban. I served on active duty in the U.S. military and it’s unfathomable to me that someone who wants to serve our country would be turned away simply because of who they are.”

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