Fundamentally Trans Forming the Military

Barb Wire

When the Obama Pentagon celebrates LGBT pride tomorrow, the Left was hoping it would have something to announce. Unfortunately for the president, his transgender agenda is just as unpopular with military leaders (maybe more so!) as it is with the rest of America. Stories are already buzzing at the enormous friction inside the building’s five rings when it comes to rolling out the red carpet to the clinically unstable men and women.

After putting the policy on the fast-track for repeal last July, Secretary Ash Carter is increasingly frustrated that the Defense Department won’t just get on board with this latest sexual revolution. His six-month study was supposed to be completed by January, at which point, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the branches would begin implementing one of the last pieces of President Obama’s radical agenda. Like most of us, the military has had five years to see the effects of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal — and they aren’t exactly flattering ones. With military sexual assaults and suicides through the roof, leaders have serious concerns about multiplying those problems.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, one of the first to call for the integration of the gender confused, tried to sidestep the heated debate in a conversation with the media. “I think the review on the transgender policy should be complete within the next few months would be my best guess. It’s proceeding. These are somewhat complex issues, and by the way, I am certain that the policy is going to change. I’m certain that transgenders will be allowed to serve in a more open way.” Reporters pressed more, asking if there were strong objections within the service to the idea. “Do you get a sense that there’s reaction against allowing transgender troops to serve openly?” one asked. Lee James treaded carefully. “Again, there’s differing opinions on this, but I think the piece of this — which the one that is under the greatest review and discussion at the moment — is the accession of new people who are transgenders. How do we do that? How do we approach that? That’s the piece that is the final piece that we’re trying to get right.” Later, Pentagon spokesman Peter Coko tried to dodge the policy’s opposition. “There have been a range of — I’m not going to get into private deliberations… but the secretary challenged people within the department … to try and resolve this issue.”

Of course, as FRC has argued time and time again, the military is not about self-actualization. It’s about fighting and winning wars. Does the integration of men and women confused about their gender make us better prepared to defend our nation? If the answer is no, why are we even considering it? As FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) says, warfare is not fair. The military has always excluded people who don’t meet their mental and physical requirements. Just because you want to serve in the military doesn’t mean you’re qualified to do so. There’s no “right” to join the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard. Every day, the military turns down people who have health problems or vision problems — people who are overweight or too small. The goal is to have the strongest, most elite military in the world. If these men and women are confused about their gender, what’s to keep them from being confused about their mission?

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What’s worse, General Boykin points out, is that by opening the doors to people who identify as transgendered, the military is creating a protected class. In a sexually-charged environment like the Obama military, the pressure to give special treatment to these confused men and women will be enormous. It will be far tougher for commanders to discipline or fairly evaluate them, since they’ll be increasingly worried about discrimination complaints and other distractions. The military should be a place where everyone is equal. That’s how you create the brotherhood necessary to build unit cohesion. Decisions like this tear at the very fabric of that brotherhood — threatening, not just the security of our troops, but the country’s as well. As the president rushes to finish his fundamental transformation of America, this is where Congress needs to step in and stop him.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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