Push for Transgender Acceptance in US Military Continues
Every few months a media outlet will quietly float the topic of the prohibition on “transgender” individuals (the “T” in the traditional LGBT) in military service to see what traction the subject brings. To date each article has faded as quietly as it arose, due largely to other world events distracting the news. Given reality, however, it is likely only a matter of time before it becomes a serious contender for everyday conversation. For example, it took a just a few words from the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, saying the ban on transgender service should be “continually reviewed” for the media to declare the issue was “gaining momentum” in the run up to the military’s newly recognized sexual pride month in June.
For the uninitiated, a person who describes themselves as “transgendered” is biologically one gender but mentally or emotionally claims the opposite. In writing, the media often uses terms like “transgender male,” which means a person who is biologically female (she has XX chromosomes) but describes herself as male.
The military has long banned transgendered individual from military service on medical grounds. Even some people who describe themselves as transgendered have acknowledged potential difficulties should the “T” in LGBT be allowed to openly serve in the US military. However, those seeking “transgender civil rights” cite the basic premises that:
- Patriotism, sacrifice, and service are all that matter.
- They should not be prohibited from military service simply because of who they are;
- Other nations have already allowed transsexuals to serve;
- “Allowing transgender people to serve openly would reduce assaults and suicides while enhancing national security…”
- The military is denying itself vital resource by discharging transgendered individuals. (To judge by some stories, it would seem the vast majority of top secret clearance positions, in-demand linguists, and intelligence analysts are homosexuals and transgenders…) Interestingly, this is the same argument used about the Army’s new ban on tattoos.
- Prohibiting open service is forcing transgendered individuals to ‘lie about who they are.’
- They’re being denied their human rights.
Of course, all of those arguments sound familiar. It is the “slippery slope” once so dismissively derided during the opposition to repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (Transsexuality was specifically addressed in DADT repeal — noting repeal had no effect on the policy.)
For his part, Secretary Hagel has laid the foundation for open service. After all, if a policy is correct, why “continually review” it? The only reason to review such a policy is in a search for the circumstances in which it could change. For his part, President Obama also endorsed the “review.”
The logical premise of those who are advocating for ‘open transgender’ service in the US military is valid: If a person’s sexuality is outside of the purview of the military, and anything goes, then no consistent standard can allow homosexuals to serve but prohibit other sexualities.
And if there is no moral line there, it is unlikely anyone can defend any moral line at all.