Hillary Clinton has applauded the Pentagon's decision to lift its ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

In a statement given to the Washington Blade, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that she was “proud” of the decision.

“I am proud of the decision to lift the ban on allowing transgender troops to serve openly in the military,” Clinton said. “This decision will allow thousands of brave soldiers who are deeply committed to defending our nation to serve with dignity and respect. Having the world’s best military doesn’t just mean having the best-trained, best-equipped forces or the biggest arsenal – it also means being a leader on issues of equality and opportunity.”

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Thursday announced the policy change, saying the ban would be lifted “effective immediately.”

(Related: Pentagon lifts ban on transgender troops.)

Clinton also reiterated her call for passage of the Equality Act, which seeks to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in seven key areas, including credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations, by effectively expanding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Now we need to finally pass the federal Equality Act and end discrimination against LGBT Americans once and for all in employment, housing and other aspects of public life,” Clinton said.