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Call To Action On Transgenders In The Military

Restoring Military Strength
This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is moving through Congress and, as has often been the case, Democrats and liberal Republicans are intent on using it to legislate social policy in the military.

A few weeks ago the Supreme Court issued the [wrong and completely illogical] decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia finding that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, therefore encompasses bias against LGBT workers – never mind that there’s absolutely nothing in the record that demonstrates, let alone proves, that was the intent of Congress when the legislation was passed.

One of the most disappointing things about Bostock was the almost complete absence of reaction on the part of Capitol Hill’s Republican leadership.

Indeed, they acted like they were relieved the Supreme Court absolved them of the responsibility for legislating on another embarrassing social issue that would make their friends at the country club squirm if discussed over cocktails and dinner.

And they were even MIA when Senate Democrats tried to bring up a legislative expansion of Bostock, the so-called “Equality Act,” under unanimous consent and pass it without a roll call vote or hearings, leaving it to principled limited government constitutional conservative Senator Mike Lee of Utah to stand almost alone to stop it.

So, conservatives should be very wary about what transgender policy amendments might find their way into this year’s NDAA.

As our friend Elaine Donnelly, President of The Center for Military Readiness, noted in an op-ed for The Federalist, the Bostock ruling triggered more than 100 Democratic House members to immediately demand that Defense Secretary Mark Esper revoke the 2018 Defense Department Policy regarding people who identify as transgender or have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Never mind that the Bostock decision did not apply to the military, and it should not be interpreted as a reason for Congress to repeal President Trump’s sensible 2018 Defense Department (DoD) Policy regarding persons who identify as transgender or have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

As Ms. Donnelly noted in her op-ed, Congress should not surrender its legislative power to decide such issues, especially since the Supreme Court clearly stated Bostock was not deciding future cases involving transgender status or “gender identity” as a nondiscrimination category.

What’s more, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not even apply to the military. Combat missions are unlike any occupation in the civilian world, and military policies must prioritize readiness and morale, not social agendas or career advancement for individual service members.

The current policy, which followed six months of review and a comprehensive Defense Department report, is not based on gender identity and does not “ban” enlistment or retention of transgender people as a class. The 2018 policy is based on a medical condition, gender dysphoria, which affects personal readiness to deploy and other factors.

Except for “grandfather” provisions related to the 2016 policy, the 2018 policy accommodates transgender people who serve in their biological sex if they meet deployability requirements and have been stable (without gender dysphoria) for 36 months.

And as Ms. Donnelly noted in her article for The Federalist:

The Defense Department’s Final Report and Recommendations, citing the Military Health System Data Repository, noted that 994 active-duty service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria from October 2015 to October 2017 accounted for 30,000 mental health visits, a 300 percent increase in individual medical costs, and significant lost time.

Administrative data revealed high rates of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders among transgender troops. The Defense Department also reported, “Service members with gender dysphoria are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than Service members as a whole.”

Repeal would force medical professionals to provide expensive, long-term hormone or surgical treatments for people identifying as transgender, regardless of medical ethics concerns and deeply held personal convictions.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s sensible “deployability” policy is under attack by some misguided Republicans, as well as the usual Democrats who want to use the military as a laboratory for liberal social experiments.

The NDAA is eligible for a vote in the House this week, and so far the Democrat-controlled House Rules Committee has not included a transgender policy repeal amendment among those approved for floor votes.

However, in the Senate Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among those who want to repeal the 2018 Defense Department policy by amending the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021, and there may be other Senate Republicans who are leaning that way.

On the Democrat side, our sources tell us New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is determined to get the amendment repealing the Trump policy into the bill and force the bill into conference committee.

The Capitol Switchboard is (1-866-220-0044) we urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Senators and Representative, tell them congressional action to repeal the 2018 Defense Department policy would do nothing to support the troops or to strengthen mission readiness and morale, and that you demand they vote NO on any amendment to the 2021 NDAA that would repeal President Trump’s sensible 2018 “deployability” policy on transgenders serving in the military.

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