Republicans on House Armed Services Committee express their hatred of transgender people

Yesterday I warned that the House Armed Services Committee was going to take up the issue of open service by transgender people in the military.

Republicans railed against the Pentagon’s transgender policy on Wednesday, but ultimately did not move to reverse the policy during a debate on the annual defense policy bill.

But there was plenty of bigotry expressed.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have reversed the policy allowing open service of transgender troops, but then withdrew it to give the Pentagon time to review the policy on its own.

Hartzler’s amendment would have reversed the entire policy and directed the Defense secretary to immediately honorably discharge all transgender service members currently serving.

I withdraw the amendment with the understanding and plea to [Defense] Secretary [James] Mattis to take the steps to restore readiness and make sure we don’t waste precious tax dollars, and if that doesn’t happen, understand that we need to take action once this gets on the floor.

The transgender policy was ill-conceived and allowing transgender troops harms readiness.

Military service is a privilege, not a right. It is predicated on winning wars and defeating the enemy. All decisions on personnel and funding should be made with this in mind.

--Hartzler

Back in the Vietnam Era when I served, military service was an obligation.

We have lost our way as a nation.

--Rep Steve Russell (R-OK)

I can't imagine taking a shower with somebody who was a girl and didn’t have the surgery to become a man but kept the girl stuff.

--Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

Democrats likened the arguments being made by Republicans to those levied against African Americans before they were allowed to join the military.

What’s really troublesome to me Mr. Chairman is that I can imagine, not these individuals, not my colleagues to my right, but a Congress 70 or 80 years ago that said that a certain group of people weren’t smart enough to fly airplanes. That they’d run at the first sign of battle. That African Americans could not serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Well African American proved them wrong. The unit adapted. And I’d suggest that the unit adapt to transgender individuals, as well.

--Donald McEachin (D-VA)

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