US Military Transgender Policy To Be Reinstated Today
Today the US military will largely return to its previous policies on the admission and service of persons who identify as transgender, as those policies existed prior to the unilateral reversal of those policies under the Obama administration.
The DoD policy is explained briefly here, and it largely makes sense. For example, [emphasis added]
Except for those who are exempt from the 2018 policy, all service members, regardless of their gender identity, must adhere to the standards associated with their biological sex. These sex-based standards — such as physical fitness and body fat standards — are based on male and female physiology, not gender identity.
It’s an important, factual, and reasonable distinction. “Equality” notwithstanding, the US military must acknowledge the general physiological differences between men and women. When it comes to security and national defense, the DoD doesn’t have the luxury of playing guessing games.
In what can best be described as a compassionate exception, the updated policy exempts those who acted under the transitional policy of the Obama administration. Technically, that exemption applied until today, which inspired a few troops to run out and get a diagnosis.
The official DoD explanation also notes that transgenders had been granted “special” treatment in at least one regard, because they were permitted to join the military after undergoing medical hormone treatment — but non-transgenders weren’t. (There are non-identity conditions that might similarly call for hormone treatment, and such treatment was disqualifying for military service — unless you were transgender.)
There is also one oddity within the policy. Unlike homosexuality prior to the 1990s, the DoD explicitly says transgenders are allowed to serve. They must serve under existing policies, however — meaning they must meet the service requirements of their biological gender. Some have claimed this is the new “DADT”, except no secrets are required. The comparison, of course, isn’t logical — it’s just meant to oversimplify the controversy and demand unthinking pity.
In short, transgenders don’t get a pass. There are many people who are not permitted to serve in the US military either because of their medical condition or choices they’ve made in life. This is no different for those who do not feel as if they are the gender that matches their biology. They are free to feel that way. But if that feeling impairs their ability to function in their actual gender, or if they take steps to “match” their feelings, they will disqualify themselves from military service. There is no “right” to serve in the US military, and the military is not obligated to accommodate sexual or lifestyle preferences.
The American Medical Association objected, but their objection simply demonstrated their lack of understanding of how the military works. For example, they decried the use of the word “deficiency” with regard to transgenderism, a term that means nothing more within the military than the failure to meet a standard. Perhaps the AMA should stick to medicine.
This issue has stoked the concerns of religious troops for years, because, much as the repeal of the ban on homosexual service, open service by transgenders would similarly have created conflicts of faith and service — one that would undoubtedly have defaulted to sexual “liberty” trumping religious liberty. Christians, in particular, have watched the US military stumble over itself — practically “persecuting” a few individual Christians who were the subject of complaints by homosexuals while simultaneously claiming it values religious liberty. (All the while, the public conscience has forgotten the reassurances that such religious conflict would never happen after the repeal of DADT, because homosexuals just wanted to be free to love…)
Also similar to the repeal of DADT, multiple US troops have taken to the media to oppose, even if implicitly, their Commander-in-Chief’s policy. Yet not a single US troop has gone on record supporting it. And yet there are those that do — a great many, in fact.
The transgender issue would have only widened that moral wound within the military, as examples from civilian society have portended — for example, with sanctions against teachers who declined to use the “preferred pronoun” of a student.
God made them “male and female” — something with which the US military seems to agree.
With reference to the Religion Clause.