Some folks may label me a bigoted, anti-everything, but I happen to agree with the president’s order to exclude transgender people from service in the United States military.
Notice I did not say Lesbians, Gays, or bisexuals, and neither did the president. Transgender represents the “T” in the now-famous acronym, LGBTQ. Critics might broad brush supporters of the president’s order as anti-gay or anti-lesbian, which is simply untrue. Gays and lesbians have been serving honorably in the armed forces for years. But the big “T” is a whole other dimension. So, let’s dispense with false labels.
The military must operate as efficiently as possible. It does not exist to be a politically correct entity to include each and every American no matter the differences. There are standards, rightly so. The Army has a minimum requirement for applicants to pass aptitude tests. Those who fail are not accepted. Is the U.S. Army bigoted against intellectually-challenged people? People are excluded from military service for various reasons, such as age, education, medical/mental health and physical restrictions. Perhaps we should drop all of that because it discriminates?
Transgender folks pose a unique problem to military forces, which most people are unaware. Intellectual author, Dr. Ryan T. Anderson from the Heritage Foundation, and author of numerous volumes on this issue, points out:
- There are increased risks of suicide or mental health. The Williams Institute of Law at UCLA reports that 41 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6 percent of the U.S. population. And people who have transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.
Such statistics indicate that the transgender community is more prone toward psychological issues than the average. That can cause more problems for the military than it solves.
- A recent study by the Rand Corporation estimates at least 2,500 transgender personnel are currently on active military duty. A sizeable percentage of those will undergo transition-related health care issues paid for by the taxpayer. It’s estimated would be somewhere between $2.4 and $8.4 million dollars a year. This includes hormone treatment, surgery and follow-ups, all of which are not unforeseen health issues.
Changing one’s sex is an elective procedure, not a health necessity requiring critical treatment. Therefore, Americans are justified to balk at such expenditures. It might also be a primary motive for transgenders joining the military, as the medical costs are borne by the taxpayer.
- So-called “bathroom bills” allow transgender personnel to use whatever bathroom they prefer according to how they identify by gender. This includes toilets, urinals and showers. I doubt that sets well with the 99.4 percent of the adult population that is not transgender. (Roughly 0.6 percent of adults identify as transgender, Williams Institute, June 2016)
I seriously doubt that men and/or women in the military feel very comfortable in showers where someone of the opposite sex is present. Regardless of how a transgender “feels,” if someone is born with male genitals and a prostate, he’s a male. If someone has female genitals and a uterus, she’s a female. That’s fact.
I understand the argument about “identifying” or “feeling” like another sex. But the other 99.4 percent of adults have feelings too.
- It is only proper that the conscience rights and religious liberty of military doctors, chaplains, commanding officers and most importantly, non-transgender fellow service members should be respected and given priority in such a lopsided issue.
It’s not the job of the military to placate individuals. Their job is to win wars and keep the peace.
The military is no place to experiment with political correctness to satisfy a miniscule minority for political purposes, when it’s truly unnecessary. President Trump will surely be subjected to enormous criticism, particularly from the left, but he’s used to it. This issue is destined to generate a Supreme Court decision down the road.
It should never have been an issue to start with.
Walt Heyer is an author/columnist who underwent transgender procedures. He supports the president’s reasoning in this issue and explains why. Please read:
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