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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Transgenders in the Military

            President Donald Trump appears to love communicating with American citizens with his tweets. The President recently announced that he was reversing another policy put in place by Barack Obama in the last year of his second term. The policy allowed people who identify as transgender to join the military and was supposed to take effect in July 2017.

            As background information, Secretary of Defense James Mattis postponed the implementation of the policy for six months in order for him to review it. Last month Congress reviewed a bill that would “block funding for transgender-related hormone therapies and sex change surgeries,” but the majority of the members voted no. Apparently, President Trump did not want the military funding sex changes and therapy or his military leaders to be dealing with these problems. He sent the following message in a series of 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.

            Everyone seems to have an opinion on the subject. There are some active-duty military personnel who strongly support President Trump’s policy, and there are some who say that it makes no difference. Of course, the military personnel who are transgender do not like it at all.

            Walt Heyer, an author and public speaker, shares his personal experience in a recent article as well as on his website and his blog. He regrets trying to change his gender and desires to raise public awareness. He starts his article at The Daily Signal by sharing the President’s tweets, and then he makes this statement.

I think he [the President] made the right decision – and as someone who lived as trans-female for several years, I should know….

[Government] paying for transition-related surgeries for military service members and their families is beyond comprehensible.

Perhaps they [Congress] 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 military is expected to prepare its members in warfare: to kill, destroy, and break our enemies. The most important factors in preparing a strong military are not hormone therapy, surgical sex changes, or politically correct education. We need psychologically fit, emotionally sound, highly trained troops to protect our nation from its enemies.

            Heyer continues by explaining that “transitioning” costs “up to $130,000 per person.” Yet, it is only a “cosmetic” change because “it is biologically impossible to change a man into a woman or a woman into a man.” The suicide rate of 40 percent for this population loudly proclaims this truth. His bottom line is that “The military should not provide sex change surgery.”

            Ryan T. Anderson also published an article about the transgender-in-the-military issue at The Daily Signal. He agrees that “The mission of our armed forces is winning wars and protecting the nation. So any personnel policy must prioritize military readiness and mission-critical purposes first.” He reminds his readers that President Trump’s announcement simply “returns the military to the policy it had always observed” before Barack Obama decided to change the policy. Anderson continues by agreeing that President Trump’s “announcement reflects good reasons why transgender accommodations are incompatible with military realities.” Then he lists the following five considerations.

1. That the privacy of service members must not be infringed. This means that no soldiers, including those who identify as transgender, should be allowed to use the sex-specific facility of the opposite sex. When it comes to barracks, bathroom, showers, etc., the privacy of all service members must be respected….

2. That all service members remain combat-ready at all times. But soldiers who have “transitioned” medically require regular hormone treatments and follow-up visits after sex-reassignment surgery. It is unclear how someone who has “transitioned” would be deployable.

3. That all service members be held to the same physical fitness standards, and that these standards [be] based on the reality of biological sex, not the subjective “gender identity.” Men who identify as women should not be held to a lower standard than other men – they should be held to the standard for someone with their body that the military has determined is most effective for combat.

4. That scarce taxpayer monies not be expended on costly and controversial sex-reassignment therapies.  This is particularly the case as growing foreign threats are stretching our military’s resources, and as we struggle as a nation to provide basic health care to all. But it is unclear how soldiers who identify as transgender would pay for their treatments apart from including coverage in Tricare, the military health care program.

5. That the medical judgment, conscience rights, and religious liberty of military doctors, chaplains, commanding officers, and fellow service members be respected. Unless and until military leaders are able to find a way to respect all of these provisions, there will remain good reasons why the military will be unable to accommodate people who identify as transgender.

            There are numerous reasons why President Trump made the right decision with his policy to exclude people with transgender issues from the military. There are many issues that keep people from being in the military. Transgender issues should be added to the list!

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