An organization that monitors the readiness of the U.S. military is opposing an amendment to a defense spending bill that would allow gender dysphoria victims in the ranks.
The military disallowed people who suffer gender dysphoria – defined clinically as persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned gender – until President Obama changed the policy with an executive order. President Trump reversed the order, but courts have ruled in favor of military personnel with gender dysphoria.
Now a Democrat, Rep. Jackie Speier of California, is proposing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 that would add those individuals to the ranks.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, is urging President Trump to veto the act if the Speier amendment gains approval in the House and the Senate concurs.
The amendment would codify the addition of “gender identity” to non-discrimination laws that already include race, color, national origin and religion.
Donnelly explained the amendment would provide special allowances for those with “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, and other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
“The Trump/Mattis Policy regarding transgender personnel is not based on gender identity and it does not bar enlistment or retention of transgenders as a class. The policy is based on a medical condition, gender dysphoria, which affects personal readiness to deploy and other factors,” she explained.
“The Speier amendment, if codified, would nullify a key element of the Trump/Mattis policy, which states that military persons identifying as transgender are expected ‘to adhere to all applicable standards, including the standards associated with their biological sex,’ having been stable for at least 36 months.”
She said the Speier amendment “is more extreme than the Obama/Carter Policy, which required a person to obtain an official change in their bureaucratic ‘gender marker’ before they would be recognized in their ‘preferred gender.'”
Donnelly pointed out the odd position Congress would be taking if it adopts the amendment.
“Aside from the clause’s peculiar stereotyping, approval of this language would put the Congress on record in favor of the unscientific notion that gender is ‘designated’ or ‘assigned’ at birth. On the contrary, gender is naturally determined long before birth, in human DNA that exists from the moment of conception in every cell of a person’s body,” she said.
The amendment, she pointed out, demands accommodations for transgenders in every personnel policy in the U.S. military.
That could mean, she explained, the implementation of mandates “directing military doctors and nurses to provide expensive, long-term hormone or surgical treatments for persons identifying as transgender, regardless of concerns about medical ethics and deeply held personal convictions.”
Also, it could give men the right to access showers currently reserved for women.
And gender-specific athletic teams could vanish.
Further, she pointed out, the practice would violate the religious liberty rights of chaplains and other people of faith.
Other side effects would be significant, she said, since people with gender dysphoria have much higher rates for attempting suicide and higher medical costs.
“Given restrictions on personal freedom in the military, controversies resulting from passage of this legislation would exceed those already being seen in many civilian schools and athletic teams across the country,” she said.
Earlier this month, the far-left 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave President Trump a victory in his effort to limit people with gender dysphoria from serving in the military.
The court set aside a ruling by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle, which said the ban likely violated the constitutional rights of transgender service members and recruits.
Obama’s policy exempted transgendered troops from some military standards and paid for special psychological and medical care to enable them to remain in the military.
The Trump administration restored the partial ban.
At the time, the Family Research Council, whose leadership includes experts in military matters, said the problem is that most critics of Trump’s plan simply don’t understand it.
“This is true even of groups presenting themselves as experts – like the American Medical Association,” FRC said.
The AMA criticized the Pentagon document implementing the policy for using the word “deficiencies” to describe transgender service members’ failure to adhere to military standards.
AMA president Dr. Barbara L. McAneny told the Associated Press, “The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision.”
However, FRC argued, “the Pentagon did not apply the word ‘deficiencies’ to any individual’s transgender status, or even to a diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria.’ The word referred quite explicitly to a ‘failure to adhere to … standards’ – namely, ‘the standards associated with his or her biological sex.’ In other words, it refers to ‘deficiencies’ in a service member’s conduct, not their physical or psychological state.”
People with gender dysphoria should be excluded because it’s a specific medical diagnosis, and “it is associated with significant mental health problems, as the AMA should know,” FRC contended.
The Pentagon’s Report and Recommendations last year found that “service members with gender dysphoria are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than service members as a whole” and “nine times more likely to have mental health encounters.”