Transgender folks in the military: more of a threat than North Korea, Putin or ISIS

A day after she introduced and then withdrew an amendment to the military budget intended to deny transgender Americans from serving in the military, Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) was on the radio with Tony Perkins of the hate group Family Research Council

Trans servicemembers, she warned, are a “threat” to the country — a threat rivaling our biggest international foes.

At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service, which is a real problem because it impacts their readiness, and it’s a huge cost for our military.

--Hartzler

Harzler claims that transgender-related surgeries will cost the military 1.35 billion dollars over the next ten years, which is sixteen times the highest estimate of the RAND Corporation gave when commissioned to study the issue by the Pentagon.

Hartzler also specified for the first time that if the military doesn’t block the new policy from being implemented, she will reintroduce her amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on the House floor. It was supposed to take effect July 1, and though it may be delayed six months, there is no indication from anyone in the Armed Services that it won’t eventually be implemented. This means that she will condition funding for the entire military on banning transgender people from service — the first time such a ban will have ever been stipulated in a law.

Defense Secretary Mattis decided yesterday to delay allowing the enlistment of transgender recruits for six months. In actuality, it appears the delay will be for 5 months since he calls for reviews to be completed by Dec. 1.

After consulting with the service chiefs and secretaries, I have determined that it is necessary to defer the start of accessions for six months. We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.

No member of Congress should refer to military service members as a ‘threat’ simply because of who they are. Hartzler’s comments are further proof that this ban is rooted in bigotry and needs to go.

--Faiz Shakir, ACLU

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