It’s safe to say that Donald Trump’s presidency has generated quite a bit of controversy, and perhaps no other issue has enraged the far-left as much as his efforts to ban transgenders from the U.S. military.
That debate reached a fever pitch back in July 2017, when President Trump tweeted that transgender people would not be able to serve “in any capacity” within America’s armed forces.
But a tweet, of course, is not official policy. As liberals rallied against the president’s stance, top brass worked to find solutions that bridged the gap between the commander-in-chief’s declaration and existing rules.
Then the U.S. Supreme Court got involved. In January, the highest court in the land sided with Trump and ruled in a 5-4 decision that the administration could move forward with its policy.
Now, the left has again been stymied, but this time from the Pentagon itself.
“The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender,” the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
While the new rule isn’t an outright ban, it essentially slams the door on military members who are actively transitioning using often-expensive sexual therapies.
“(I)t will likely force the military to eventually discharge transgender individuals who need hormone treatments or surgery and can’t or won’t serve in their birth gender,” the AP explained. In other words, troops can still remain in the military if they do so as their biological sex, but the Pentagon won’t support them if they insist on transitioning.
That order is set to take effect in 30 days, or about mid April. “But after April 12, no one with gender dysphoria who is taking hormones or has transitioned to another gender will be allowed to enlist,” the AP stated.
“And any currently serving troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria after April 12 will have to serve in their birth gender and will be barred from taking hormones or getting transition surgery,” the outlet continued.
Unsurprisingly, liberals and left-leaning advocacy groups were not happy with the announcement.
“The Trump administration is determined to bring back ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a policy that forced service members to choose between serving their country and telling the truth about who they were,” Aaron Belkin of Palm Center, a California think-tank that has been studying the issue of gays in the military, said.
It’s worth pointing out that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was enacted by a liberal Democrat, none other than Bill Clinton.
“This is telling qualified people they are not allowed to serve,” Staff Sgt. Patricia King — a transgender member of the Army — said to NBC News in response to the new policy. “That is the definition of a ban.”
Sgt. King added that the change “is nothing short of a ban, regardless of whatever political language might be used.”
“This discriminatory ban on transgender troops will be a stain on our nation’s history,” Sarah McBride from the LGBT group Human Rights Campaign stated. “The cruelty of this administration knows no bounds.”
But the elephant in the room on this issue is that nobody is guaranteed a position within the U.S. military. There have always been standards and requirements, some more strict than others.
Physical attributes such as eyesight, height, or hemophilia have, of course, long been considerations for whether somebody can serve. Mental health factors are part of that equation, too. There is a long list of disqualifications, ranging from teeth problems to eating disorders.
The reason behind this is that the military’s job — to be blunt — is to engage enemies of the United States and destroy them. Anything or anybody that detracts from readiness can be a liability for that deadly mission. The military is not a social experimentation center.
It may be inconvenient to the left, but it’s hard to see how providing expensive hormone treatments and penile inversion surgeries for people who believe they were born the wrong gender helps the military fight wars.
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