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Religious Tolerance logo

Transgender persons & transsexuals in U.S. military:

2016: More negative reactions to the
ending of discrimination. Positive reactions.

Part 3

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay

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Negative reactions to the Pentagon's plan (Cont'd):

  • One News Now, a division of the American Family Association, conducted a poll of its visitors, asking them:

    "What question pops into your mind following the decision to lift the ban on transgenders in the U.S. military? They suggested some alternatives to their visitors:

    • 26% selected: "Why is it nothing surprises me anymore?

    • 26% selected: "So its OK to give mentally ill people guns?

    • 23% selected: "And the GOP is mum on this because...?

    • 14% selected "We're expected to celibrate this?"

    • 11% selected: "Is anyone paying attention to China, Russia? 1
  • Bryan Fischer, a guest columnist writing for One News Now, said:
    "The mind reels at the logistical nightmare this will create for a military whose job is to protect us – not engage in radical and foolish social engineering.

    President Obama and the Pentagon have violated the Constitution and committed an impeachable offense by unilaterally admitting transgenders, transvestites, and transexuals into the military.

    According to Article I, Section 8, only Congress has authority to change the rules which govern the military. Congress has never authorized the induction of those who engage in these behaviors into the armed forces. For the commander-in-chief to make and implement a decision of this magnitude is an impeachable offense on any number of levels, not the least of which is the plain fact that it defies the Constitution and trashes the entire concept of the separation of powers.

    This decision will have a negative impact on recruitment, retention, and readiness. A diminishing number of vigorous young males will be interested in joining this kind of military, or signing up for another stretch." 1

  • Roger Severino, writing for the Daily Signal -- a media outlet of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that the military's policy toward transgender troops is:

    "... based on a radical new gender ideology. This change was not precipitated by military needs but by political correctness. ..."

    "What the military did not allow before today was the disruption to morale, privacy, and readiness that results from a male serviceman demanding the “right'' to dress as a female, have others address him as a female, and be granted unfettered access to showers, lockers, bathrooms, and barracks designated for females. That commonsense policy, which has served our country well, was jettisoned today. ..."

    "This decision has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with politics and a gender ideology run amok." 2

  • David French, writing for the National Review, said:

    "There is no conceivable military justification for this move. The actual and potential transgender military population is tiny (the 'upper end' estimate of 11,000 is hilariously exaggerated), the medical procedures for “transitioning” are hideously expensive, and the entire process can take soldiers out of the fight for extended periods.

    But this move isn’t about national security, it’s about social engineering. Many members of the military will spend their entire careers without encountering a single transgender soldier, but they will endure hour upon hour of diversity training and thought control. Every time the military makes a move like this, it follows its pronouncements with briefings — so very many briefings. I was a brigade judge advocate when the military lifted its ban on openly gay service members, and we were all treated to the full range of stern lectures about tolerance and diversity. ..."

    "The administration is moving the military culture to Yale with guns just about as fast as it can.

    Fortunately the warrior culture is resilient. Infantry platoons aren’t likely to go full PC anytime soon, but the Left keeps chipping away. It will keep chipping away until the horrible reality of the battlefield reminds us all that our military isn’t a social laboratory. Our enemies focus on war while we sidetrack our soldiers with social justice. Not even our immense technical and material advantage can save us forever from the consequences of our own folly." 3

This webmaster's comment:

    According to Wikipedia:

    "The projected active duty end strength in the armed forces for FY [Fiscal Year] 2016 was 1,301,300 people, with an additional 811,000 people in the seven reserve components." 4

    This makes a total of: 2,112,300 persons. Assuming that 0.6% of the general population of U.S. adults are transgender persons, and that the percentage in the military is equal to that in the general population, then the army would have about 12,700 transgender soldiers. The estimate that David French quotes appears to be a bit low and is hardly "hilariously exaggerated."

    However, in the past, many transgender persons might well have been reluctant to entering the military because they would lack employment security. If their gender identity was detected, they would be immediately discharged. Thus, their current number is probably lower than 12,700. However, with the new policy, transgender persons would be have a much higher level of employment protection than they would outside the military. So their total numbers eventually will probably exceed 12,700.

    There is a second factor: Many transgender persons who seek gender reassignment surgery (GRS) cannot afford the financial costs. But in the military, they might be able to qualify for GRS at no personal cost. This might make the total number of transgender soldiers increase well beyond 12,700.

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Positive reactions to the Pentagon's plan:

  • Selisse Berry, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, issued a statement saying

    "I am so thrilled that the oldest government agency, the Department of Defense, recognizes the valuable contributions of transgender service members to our country’s security and will finally lift the ban on transgender service. Together, we begin a new chapter for the nation and our defense. ... Beyond the DOD, this decision also sends a powerful message to employers and the entire country [that] ... discrimination based on gender identity and expression is unacceptable and not a reflection of our nation’s inclusive values." 5

  • Roddy Flynn, executive director of the LGBT Equality Caucus, issued a statement saying:

    "The entire LGBT Equality Caucus thanks the White House and the Pentagon for this historic policy change. The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was an important step forward, but LGBT equality is not complete if the transgender community is left behind. This country has the greatest fighting force in the world because we place readiness and security above arbitrary exclusion or discriminatory policies.  Transgender service members should not have to hide their identity to serve their country. For too long these courageous soldiers have been forced to serve in silence. Thanks to this new policy, we will have a stronger, more focused and more just military." 5

  • Former Army Capt. Sue Fulton, is president of SPART*A, "Service members. Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All," a LGBT military advocacy group. 6 She issued a press release, saying:

    "Secretary Carter today fulfills his promise that every American who is qualified to serve will be allowed to serve. The thousands of transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and Coast Guardsmen — and their commanders — have one less burden on their shoulders today. We are grateful to the military and civilian leaders in the Department of Defense who worked so hard to get this right." 5

SGM (retired) Jennifer Marie Long added:   

"As a retired Army sergeant major, Airborne Infantry, and a transgender woman, I am proud of our leadership and our Armed Forces today. Transgender Americans like me are competent, capable soldiers, and now they no longer have to pretend to be someone else." 5

Army Captain Jennifer Peace added to the press release, saying:

"I have always been proud to be a Soldier, but the inclusion of transgender service members makes me even more proud to serve." 5 

  • Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, issued a statement saying:

    "Today, we join in celebration with the thousands of brave transgender patriots who will now be able to serve our nation openly and with the deep respect they deserve. Ending this discriminatory policy not only brings long-overdue recognition to transgender service members, it also strengthens our military and our nation. Our military will now be able to recruit the very best candidates, and retain highly-trained, talented transgender service members once facing discharge for no other reason than who they are. History will remember Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for his leadership in taking this historic and necessary step forward."

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  • Nick Melvin, a member of the American Military Partner Association said that:

    "... military families will be stronger as a result of these critically important and long overdue changes.

    This historic change means that I can finally serve openly and proudly as who I am -- a soldier who loves my country and just happens to be transgender. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulder. I can continue serving my nation and support my family, which means the world!"

  • Shannon Mintere, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, issued a statement saying:

    "Transgender service members have long served their country with honor and courage. As the repeal of the military’s 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy has shown, military readiness is enhanced, not diminished, when our armed forces end discriminatory personnel policies. While some questions about the details of the new policy remain, we hope the armed services will move quickly and decisively to implement the goals of the new policy, which are to permit transgender service members to serve openly and without discrimination."

  • Matt Thorn, executive director of the LGBT service member organization OutServe-SLDN, said:

    "Transgender service members have been awaiting this announcement for months and years: it has long been overdue.

    Secretary Carter, with his statement, has given a breath of relief and overdue respect to transgender service members who have been and are currently serving our country with undeniable professionalism, the utmost respect and illustrious courage, with the caveat to do so silently. Today, we mark history, once again, by ending the need to serve in silence. Today, we say (in the words of Attorney General Loretta Lynch):

    'We see you, and regardless of your gender identity we welcome you to serve this country with honor, dignity, courage and above all openly and honestly'." 5

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Other articles in this series on transgender persons in the U.S. military:

  • Part 1: 2011/2012: Overview. Support. Current military policies. Care for veterans.

  • Part 2: 2016: Previous ends to discrimination by the military. Pentagon announces an end to discrimination against transgender members. Negative reactions.

  • Part 4: 2017: Trump bans military service members
  • Part 5: 2017: More on Trump's ban of military transgender service members

  • Part 6: 2017: Impact of Trump's ban of military transgender members

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Bryan Fischer, "Transgenders in military: Impeachable, damaging, and expensive," One News Now, 2016-JUL-01, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  2. Roger Severino, "Pentagon’s Transgender Policy Defies Common Sense," The Daily Signal, 2016-JUN-30, at: http://dailysignal.com/
  3. David French, "The Pentagon’s New Policy on Transgender Soldiers Is Pure Social Engineering, " National Review, 2016-JUN-30, at: http://www.nationalreview.com/
  4. "United States Armed Forces," Wikipedia, as on 2016-JUL-15, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  5. "Pentagon on Trans Troops: 'These Are the Kind of People We Want'," The Advocate, 2016-JUN-30, at: http://www.advocate.com/
  6. SPART*A's web site is at: http://www.spartapride.org

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How you may have arrived here:

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Home > Religious Information > Basic data > Transgender > here

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-JUL-17
Latest update : 2016-JUL-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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