Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is about to lift the unspoken ban on transgender people in the military. In the meantime, soldiers will be allowed to self-identify without threat of discrimination according to the new 2017 budget. It is not clear that if they have to go through transition surgery or not.
Cynthia O. Smith, an Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon, told The Washington Times: “Treating all soldiers with dignity and respect is not a change in policy, it is a core value. Moreover, the language in the budget report is wholly consistent with past Army statements.”
“That’s an opening for just about anything. Transgender, any faith or space alien,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and critic of the Pentagon’s social agenda. “Before long, we’ll welcome anyone no matter their views or abilities. Be damned our readiness. That’s the progressives’ mantra.”
Dress codes and accommodations such as bathroom and showering facilities for openly transitioning service people would have to be made.
Navy Secretary Roy Mabus has been leading the sexual revolution in the military, including putting women in all positions.
Eric Fanning is awaiting a Senate vote on his nomination as the next Army secretary, and confirmation would make him the first openly gay service secretary.
“It looks like Fanning is wasting no time in imposing LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] law on the Army, with transgender people being treated as a civil rights minority entitled to special rights,” said Elaine Donnelly, who runs the Center for Military Readiness. “Gender dysphoria requires treatment, in the same way that other conditions in which a person’s self-identify differs from reality deserve treatment. Full implementation could have serious consequences, especially among medical personnel who may be required to provide treatment that departs from prevailing medical ethics.”
The Obama administration has been preparing for this.
In March of 2014, an independent commission led by Dr. Jocelyn Elders, a U.S. surgeon general under Bill Clinton before she was fired, reported that there is no medical reason to keep transgenders out of the military or force them out. The commission comes out of The Williams Institute, a far-left think tank in San Francisco.
The commission states that there is no reason why President Obama can’t use his pen and phone to lift the unofficial ban.
Gender identity issues are no longer defined as psychiatric problems by the mental health community at large, the report says, and the notion that they aren’t normal is based on outdated ideas.
“We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components,” Elders commission wrote.
The U.S. taxpayer will have to pay for gender transition surgery.
One concern by the military is that providing hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgeries would be too difficult, disruptive and expensive. The panel rejected that as a concern.
“I hope their takeaway will be we should evaluate every one of our people on the basis of their ability and what they can do, and if they have a condition we can treat we would treat it like we would treat anyone else,” Elders said in an interview with The Associated Press, which was provided along with the report ahead of its official release.
The commission argued that facilitating gender transitions “would place almost no burden on the military,” adding that a relatively small number of active and reserve service members would elect to undergo transition-related surgeries and that only a fraction might suffer complications that would prevent them from serving. It estimated that 230 transgender people a year would seek such surgery at an average cost of about $30,000.
The Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly, whose group opposed the repeal of the ban on openly gay troops, predicted that putting transgender people in barracks, showers and other sex-segregated areas could cause sexual assaults to increase and infringe on the privacy of non-transgender personnel.
“This is putting an extra burden on men and women in the military that they certainly don’t need and they don’t deserve,” Donnelly said.