United States: Transgenders no longer allowed in the US military

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail." -Donald Trump

Some republicans have shown opposition to the idea of including transgender people in the United States’ military. Vicky Hartzler, a congresswoman from Missouri, publicly accepted her wish to have transgender service member honorably discharged. These arguments are based on the statement made by commanders who are concerned these people represent military problems due to medical issues, their sexual preferences may impair them from adequately executing their duties, and they may suffer discrimination within the institution.

The Family Research Council (FRC) praised Trump’s action, “I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities and not to continue the social experimentation of the Obama era”, said Tony Perking president of the FRC.

“This is worse than ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’, this is ‘don’t serve, don’t serve’”, declared the National Centre for Transgender Equality in a public written statement. The “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibited any homosexual or bisexual from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or even speaking about said matter. “Said procedure was a disastrous; it harmed the military for almost two decades”, affirmed Aaron Belkin, director of Palm Centre, a leading think-tank which studies gender and sexuality in the military. “The new ban will harm the military forcing transgender troops to live as gays and lesbians did under ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’”, Belkin concluded.

Last year, the Obama administration decided to allow transgender people to serve openly in the army, but past June, Defense Secretary James Mattis agreed a six-month delay in the recruitment of said individuals. The pentagon declared that this delay was to allow the different branches of the military to review their accession plans and to prepare an input plan of impact.

According to a survey by Rand Corp, there were between 1.300 and 6.630 transgender troops on active duty in the US military in 2016.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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