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A Transgender Military

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

American law and military tradition do not discriminate against transgenders—and transgenders hurt themselves by believing otherwise.

How is this possible, one could ask, when our President is preventing transgenders from openly serving in the military?

On Wednesday, President Trump announced that the military would not accommodate openly transgender individuals. Trump’s announcement was not necessarily a reversal of the Clinton-era “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy but rather a pushback against the more profligate 2016 Obama administration call for transgenders to openly serve in the military. 

President Trump’s exact announcement, as delivered in a series of three tweets:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow...Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming...victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

Gone With the Wind

In 2004, Obama was asked whether he thought Americans had an innate right to marry, and he answered, “I don’t think marriage is a civil right.” The majority of Americans opposed gay marriage going into the 2008 presidential election, and Obama didn’t run on the issue. 

“Evolving” was the term Obama used to define his views on gay marriage in 2010. By 2012, the moral tides had noticeably changed in America, as more socially liberal Millennials were moving into adulthood. Just 43% of the overall adult population opposed gay marriage in 2012. A few months before the presidential election, Obama bended with the new direction of the wind: “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” 

Obama scored political points—especially among key Millennial voters—without doing anything to truly promote justice. His “lease” at the White House was renewed for four more years.

Two months after Obama was re-elected, the American Psychiatric Association announced that it was revising its long-held assertion that being transgender was a mental disorder (Gender Identity Disorder). The APA said it now recommended that medical professionals diagnose individuals who identify as transgender only with a form of stress called “gender dysphoria.” 

Is there a reason for the APA’s reversal? Not new science, but a desire to avoid placing a therapist in a position to “pathologize” or regard a transgender’s mental state as unhealthy. In other words, it’s political correctness and changing moral standards. Certainly, some doctors feared that “mental disorder” carries a stigma that would discourage transgender individuals from seeking medical help. But if someone has a mental instability and they are told it’s not instability, they won’t seek medical treatment.

Today, individuals who society used to view as needing professional medical help are being upheld as “victims” or even “heroes” because society has become more politically correct and morally loose. 

We Shouldn’t Pay For This

Your tax dollars fund the military. We can agree that operating a military is a basic government function. However, it’s a step too far to ask that we allocate limited military resources toward subsidizing “gender-change” processes for individuals when these processes will surely include extensive, specialized and costly staffing; hormonal treatments; therapy; and surgeries.

Besides being expensive; gender-change treatments are also offensive to many people of faith who believe that actively trying to alter one’s biological gender is morally wrong and disrespectful to one’s self and one’s Creator. We need to safeguard our First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

President Clinton’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allowed individuals who identified as transgender or homosexual to serve in the military if they met all other qualifications, as long as they did not make their gender identity or sexual identity an issue. Today’s activists want such individuals to serve as they please—regardless of the distraction or toll (economic, emotional, and social).

Since when is the military a place where you go to express your “identity”—of any kind: short haircuts, uniforms, salutes, titles, and marching orders? An effective military is not a flamboyant one. 

Less than 1% of American adults identify as transgender. Likewise, less than 1% of the U.S. military identifies as transgender according to studies by both RAND Corp and the UCLA Williams Institute. North Korea is laser-focused on developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach Chicago while we are distracting ourselves with the puerile whims of a minority.

Let’s support President Trump in his efforts to restore real stability and true equality to the U.S. military. 

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