In Clever Move, President Trump Rescinds Military Transgender Ban
Though it isn’t being reported this way, last Friday President Trump actually rescinded the ban he previously implemented on transgenders in the military last August. The new memorandum (PDF) explicitly withdrew his prior policy:
I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals,” and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals.
The new memo did not institute a new presidential directive. Rather, the President deferred to the Department of Defense — that is, the “independent judgment” of the DoD — with regard to its policies. He said [emphasis added]:
These [DoD-produced] documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense.
It’s a clever move. Lawsuits and media attacks up to this point have focused on the President. Here, the President essentially — in fact, explicitly — says Secretary James Mattis of the DoD has made these policies, not him. This severely undercuts those who have made this issue about President Trump — and especially those who have tried to portray this as Trump overruling the DoD. President Trump isn’t going against the military; he’s letting them make the decision.
“Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances,” a memo released by the White House on Friday night said.
Some of the same groups who complained Trump was ignoring DoD conclusions (when it favored their agenda) are now ignoring the latest statements by the same DoD [emphasis added]:
“Based on the work of the Panel and the Department’s best military judgment, the Department of Defense concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender.
“Furthermore, the Department also finds that exempting such persons from well-established mental health, physical health, and sex-based standards, which apply to all Service members, including transgender Service members without gender dysphoria, could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.”
Naturally, LGBT activist groups decried the policy, but they didn’t always think through what they were saying. For example, the AMPA — led by Ashley Broadway, the famous “devout Christian” — attacked President Trump (and Vice President Pence) and applauded the American Psychiatric Association’s statement, highlighting this quote:
“All Americans who meet the strenuous requirements and volunteer to serve in U.S. military should be given the opportunity to do so.”
That’s great, Ashley. Do you understand that not having gender dysphoria is one of those “strenuous requirements”? Seems like you actually support the DoD policy.
Federal courts put a hold on the implementation of President Trump’s prior policy, but the Justice Department has already indicated an intent to proceed — in fact, the memo was filed with the intent of ending the current legal cases. Historically, it seems unlikely LGBT advocates would prevail at the Supreme Court anyway, given the judiciary’s deference to the military on matters affecting national defense.
First, as previously noted, this is now being presented as a DoD issue, not a President Trump issue.
Second, in the early 1980s the Supreme Court said the military could restrict a service member’s free exercise of religion — even though that’s an explicitly enumerated right in the US Constitution.
By contrast, there is no right to serve in the US military. There is no right to have the government support your personal perception or feelings about your sexuality.
There are actual, physical issues regarding these neo-sexual “rights” in the military, which even now society is struggling to handle. Similarly, there is again a nexus with religion. What of the US troop who believes he would be participating in sin to shower with someone who was biologically the other gender, but asserted a different gender? What of the troop who believed it morally wrong to support a “perversion” of God’s creation in calling a “male” a “female,” or vice versa?
It’s not a non-event.
If the Supreme Court wouldn’t “protect” an actual right, why do sexual activists think SCOTUS would protect a manufactured one?
Then again, you never know.
For those that still don’t get it, a military father articulately explained it this way:
I have a Deaf son and daughter. They cannot serve in the military. Do I personally wish they could? Of course, I love the Army and what it has done in my life, I would love for them to have every opportunity I have had because I’m their dad.
But I’m also a leader. I’m also responsible for ensuring our lethality. I’m aware that just because my amazing Deaf children would be capable of serving doesn’t mean that’s what’s right for the Army as an organization.
The military isn’t about individual expression, it’s about service to our nation and not about our nation serving us.
This is 100% the right move by Chaos 6. There are plenty of other opportunities available to serve our Nation available to my children if they do choose. Range control to health care to DOIM. The list is almost endless of jobs they can do, with shoot move and communicate as a team not being there.
I’m okay with that. I get it. I get that our national security is worth that conversation I will have to have with them about why Daddy could serve in uniform and they can’t.
So to all the transfolk our there I say, it’s not about you. It’s not about your “rights” as a trans person because no one has a right to serve. It is a privilege of the few. Feel a little raw about it? Plenty of jobs at range control, health care, DOIM, etc.
We don’t all get a choice to void our ability to serve. My children were born unqualified to serve. You chose to make yourself that way. Get in line, because it ain’t all about you.
It’s not about you.