Air Force General Paul Selva was required to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday for his reappointment as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He was asked about the delay in enlisting transgender troops.
Our decision to delay the accessions of transgender individuals into the services was largely based on a disagreement on the science of how mental health care and hormone therapy for transgender individuals would help solve their medical issues that are associated with gender dysphoria.
That seems strange since the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association are all pretty much in agreement about how gender dysphoria should be treated.
But it appears that at least one of the Joint Chiefs has probably been reading or listening to the ravings of Dr. Paul McHugh, retired Johns Hopkins administrator
There are a host of other issues that involve the potential physical standards, and the service chiefs asked for additional time to assess so that they can make their necessary changes to infrastructure, as well as training curriculum for our basic trainees who come in in transgender status, particularly those who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery and while they present as their target gender are physiologically still in their birth gender.
The chiefs are misrepresenting the science about transgender troops in a disingenuous way that reflects the old Pentagon tactic of distorting the data about gays and lesbians under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There is no scientific dispute. Rather, there is a global medical consensus, including the American Medical Association and the Rand Corporation, that transition-related care is reliable, safe and effective.
--Aaron Belkin, Palm Center