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Mattis Challenges Trump, Undermines Most Controversial Military Order in Years

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis has apparently split with President Donald Trump on a controversial matter regarding transgender individuals who wish to serve in the U.S. military.

According to a senior U.S. official, Mattis recently recommended that the president allow transgender individuals to serve in the armed forces so long as they can deploy overseas. However, it is unclear what the specifics of those recommendations include.

While Mattis’ recommendations may oppose Trump’s outright ban, a recently issued policy from the retired Marine Corps general says that troops will be kicked out of the military if they are unable to deploy for 12 months.

“We’ve come out with a policy that if you’re not deployable for a year or more you’re going to have to go somewhere else,” Mattis told reporters recently,

As reported by Fox News, government officials revealed that the implementation of this new policy is part of why Mattis wants to let transgender people serve.

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In the summer of 2017, Trump posted a series of tweets announcing that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in any branch of the U.S. military.

Trump’s order was later blocked by a federal court ruling which said the transgender ban was unlawful. A government official told Fox that Mattis’ recommendations will abide by court decisions.

Although Trump’s ban has been met with immense backlash and criticism from the left — and now from the defense secretary — multiple organizations agree with the measure.

The Conservative Action Project released a statement of support for Trump’s stance on Feb. 14, signed by 137 organization leaders and individuals. As noted by the Center for Military Readiness, 46 of the signees were high-ranking military veterans.

And on Feb. 2, the Republican National Committee published a “Resolution Supporting President Trump’s Right to Restore Sound Policies on Transgender Personnel in the Military.”

Do you think transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military?

But the CMR pointed out that the numerous roadblocks Trump has faced as he attempts to implement the transgender ban represent a major concern.

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“Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, federal judges have no power to run the military,” the group wrote. “That authority belongs to the elected branches of government: Congress (Article I) and the Executive (Article II).”

The organization continued: “As with all national security matters, the issue here is not the transgender policy alone, but who gets to decide what the military’s policy will be. Federal judges in black robes should not be allowed to decide military enlistment requirements.”

Another concern the group brought up has to do with preexisting Obama-era mandates that force doctors, military leaders and nurses to comply with procedures that many deem unethical.

“Under court orders, the Defense Department must continue to subsidize controversial hormone therapies and possible surgeries that do not mitigate underlying psychological problems, including high risks of suicide,” the organization stated. “Persons attempting to change their gender — which is scientifically impossible — must be granted lengthy leave for months at a time for hormone treatments and ‘real life experience’ (RLE) as a person of the opposite sex.”

The underlying psychological problems present in transgender individuals have indeed been well-documented and backed up by substantial research.

As reported by Vocativ, data from The Williams Institute suggests that 41 percent of people identifying as transgender have attempted suicide. For comparison, 4.6 percent of the overall U.S. population have admitted to attempting suicide at some point in their life, according to surveys.

Moreover, Psychology Today reported that nearly half of all transgender individuals suffer from an anxiety disorder, depression or both. That’s compared to 6.7 percent of cisgender (non-transgender) Americans who suffer from depression, and 18 percent who deal with an anxiety disorder.

And as pointed out by Transgender Mental Health, a major problem encountered by transgender individuals is regret associated with gender reassignment surgery. Essentially, once the surgery is completed, the underlying problems associated with being the “wrong gender” don’t go away.

In an op-ed for The Daily Signal, Walt Heyer, a writer who was once transgender, explained why he sides with Trump’s decision to ban transgender individuals from military service.

“Paying for transition-related surgeries for military service members and their families is beyond comprehensible,” he wrote.

“Perhaps they have forgotten that our military was forged to be the world’s strongest fighting force, not a government-funded, politically correct, medical sex change clinic for people with gender dysphoria.”

The Los Angeles Times noted that the Pentagon keeps no data on the exact amount of transgender individuals serving in the military.

However, third-party figures suggest that there are between 1,300 and 16,000 transgender military members.

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