Presidential hopeful Cory Booker told crowds on Sunday night that he would immediately reverse Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces if elected in the 2020 election.
Speaking in Davenport, Iowa to over 300 voters, the New Jersey senator made this announcement after being asked by a transgender women in the crowd how he would protect LGBTQ people as president, according to the Associated Press.
“When I am president of the United States, right away I will end this ridiculous, insulting, un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in the military,” the senator said to the crowd who erupted in cheers.
Booker’s statement comes only days after the Pentagon signed new policies barring over 13,700 transgender troops starting next month unless Congress is able to intervene. The new policy will discharge or deny enlistment to anyone who won’t serve in the gender to which they were assigned at birth.
Other exclusions to this new policy can be applied to those who are undergoing hormone therapy or other gender-confirmation procedures, but experts fear many troops cannot rush to obtain changes in their medical classification before the April 12 deadline.
Beyond the trans ban, Booker also told crowds on Sunday night that he would reverse other Trump policies he finds unfair, including the current tax cut proposal the president rolled out. The senator also said he would bring back DACA protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Booker has been a well-known supporter of LGBTQ rights during his time in public office, and has made news throughout the years for removing Christian hecklers during same-sex marriage ceremonies in 2013, helping pass anti-conversion therapy measures in New Jersey, and pushing through new federal hate crime legislation earlier this year.
The senator will attend the Democratic National Convention's first debates in June. On Sunday, it was announced that Mayor Pete Buttigieg has qualified to join these debates alongside Booker — making Buttigieg the first openly gay person to do so.