Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss female Connecticut athletes in Connecticut filing a federal discrimination complaint against their state’s policy on allowing biological males who identify as females to compete against biological females. They also talk about The New York Times excluding questions concerning abortion in favor of fluff questions for the Democratic presidential candidates. And they discuss Joe Biden boasting about his past work relationships with segregationist colleagues in the Senate.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that judges in the state can force parents to provide counseling, therapy, and other services or a child who identifies as a different gender than their biological sex.
The decision partially strikes down a 2018 Appeals Court ruling which gave more deference to parents. The case in question involved a divorced couple in a dispute over how to raise their biologically male child who “demonstrated a preference for female items,” according to a report in the Arizona Republic.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruling was unanimous, but does state that the parents cannot be required to provide services for their kids unless they are “at risk of physical danger or significantly impaired emotionally.”
LGBT activists are cheering the decision, asserting that children who are not “affirmed” in their preferred gender identity suffer far more depression and are more likely to harm themselves than those who do not meet parental resistance.
But Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver says the court got this one wrong.
“I think the Supreme Court of Arizona is wrong and I think that the Arizona Court of Appeals did get it right, when last year it ultimately ruled that courts could not take sides between parents over these kinds of issues,” said Staver.
He also contends this is pure activism from the justices.
“The Arizona Supreme Court simply gerrymandered this case. There is no law that would allow the courts to interfere between the parents in this kind of a situation,” said Staver.
He says the government has no business getting involved in these sorts of disputes.
“When a child is going through gender confusion, there is no reason to go down the road – especially at a child’s early age – for hormone-blocking treatment, hormones of a different gender, and even counseling to go through surgical intervention. Essentially, they’ve opened up the door to do just that, which is going to cause both short and long-term harm to the children.
“They should leave those decisions to the parents, even if the parents cannot agree,” said Staver.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Staver explain why he rejects the American Association of Pediatrics recommendations of “comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care” for children struggling with gender dysphoria and why such advice is contrary to the basics of most counseling.
One of the most powerful forces in public education is actively promoting transgenderism to children as young as kindergartners.
Earlier this month, National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia joined Sarah McBride of the Human Right Campaign in reading “I Am Jazz” to a kindergarten class at Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia. The NEA is the largest teachers’ union in the nation. The Human Right Campaign is the largest LGBT lobby in the U.S.
According to the Washington Post, he event took place in conjunction with the NEA’s Read Across America Day.
McBride, who was born a biological male but now identifies as female, read lines from the book, such as ““I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way.”
Cathy Ruse, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, says it was “completely outrageous” to read such a book to a kindergarten class. But she says there’s more than what the Washington Post reported.
“The parents were not fully notified and they were not asked permission to have their kids in this event,” said Ruse, noting that notice of the event only went to parents in English, whereas many of the families in that neighborhood do not speak English as their first language.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Ruse explain the significance of the National Education Association promoting this issue to young kids, why she believes activists are trying to smother any dissent on these issues, and what she sees as the proper way to approach any students struggling with their sex or gender.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America pop some popcorn as Democrats will likely have to eliminate one of their members from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the one with the least seniority – California’s Kamala Harris – is furiously fighting to stay on the panel. Of course, all of this is assuming Republicans will win the Mississippi Senate runoff Tuesday, in a race that has Republicans increasingly nervous. They also roll their eyes as Ohio Gov. John Kasich is seriously considering another White House bid and David explains why Kasich is the answer to a question no one is asking. And they shake their heads as Twitter starts banning users for “misgendering” or “deadnaming” transgenders online and perpetuates efforts to stifle all debate on the issue.
By: Joshua Paladino
A bill in the California State Legislature would mandate puberty-blocking drugs and sex change operations for transgender minors in the foster care system.
Assembly Bill 2119, the Foster Care Gender Affirming Health Care and Behavioral Health Services Act, advanced to the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday.
The bill bans counselors, parents, foster parents, and social workers from guiding children toward identification with their biological gender. The bill states, “A licensed professional, or any other individual, shall not subject a foster child or nonminor dependent to any treatment, intervention, or conduct that seeks to change the foster child’s or nonminor dependent gender identity.”
It mandates three broad plans of treatment for transgender or gender non-conforming children, including interventions to suppress the development of internal secondary sex characteristics, interventions to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity, and interventions to alleviate symptoms of clinically significant distress resulting from gender dysphoria.
The bill states that 12-year-old children “have established rights to privately seek and consent to outpatient mental health counseling and treatment.”
According to the bill’s sponsors, its purpose is to counteract the biased treatment that transgender and non-gender conforming children face.
The bill already succeeded in the lower chamber, passing on May 22 by a 46-22 vote.
Advocates for religious freedom in the military are mostly cheering President Trump’s policy on transgenders serving in the military and are breathing a sigh of relief as the U.S. Navy rejects the push for an theist chaplain.
On Friday, President Trump issued a memo reversing the Obama administration policy on transgender service. The president believes there are legitimate concerns about the impact of transgenders – particularly those transitioning from one identity to another – on military readiness.
“In my judgment, the previous administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the departments’ longstanding policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects,” reads the memo.
The move is largely applauded by Christian voices in the military community. Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty Executive Director Phil Wright says Trump did the right thing.
“The Chaplain Alliance affirms the commander-in-chief’s decision. The number one priority for the military is to be ready to deploy and engage in and win the nation’s wars as well as defend our allies,” said Wright,a retired U.S. Army colonel who served as a chaplain while in uniform.
He says it’s time for the government to stop using the military to advance cultural and political goals.
“The military is not (designed) to engineer social change. It’s not a club. It’s not to reflect America. It is to win the nation’s wars, to defend the nation and our allies,” said Wright.
The memo largely restricts military service from people undergoing surgeries or therapies that make them undeployable if they get sent somewhere they won’t have access to those medical options.
However, it does not call for a total ban on transgenders serving in the military, and Wright says some aspects of the lingering policy leave him concerned, including safety for women in uniform.
“When you have men alleging to be women and having access to female billeting, barracks, showers, bathrooms, we think that is an issue that has not been addressed appropriately,” said Wright.
Wright says there are numerous complaints from women being forced to share quarters with men transitioning to a female identity and that those women not only fear for their safety but are deeply concerned that their superiors will have little regard for their privacy.
He’s also concerned about whether chaplains and other personnel will be pressured to stifle their beliefs on transgender issues.
“We are very concerned that the constitutional protections afforded our service members as far as religious liberty are not addressed when those who continue to serve seem to have all of the rights,” said Wright.
However, Wright is fully thrilled to see the U.S. Navy once again reject the application of a humanist to join the chaplain corps. Jason Heap was rejected once during the Obama administration but tried again this year. The effort met swift resistance on Capitol Hill from 45 Republicans in the House and 22 in the Senate.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., led the effort to quash Heap’s application. Both serve on the respective armed services committees in the House and Senate.
“We’re very fortunate that we have people in our civilian leadership, which is part of our military, having oversight. We were glad that they were able to step in and make such a cogent argument,” said Wright.
Wright says the idea of an atheist chaplain boggles the mind.
“By definition, humanists or human secularists or atheists could not be a military chaplain is to be religious. Their very first comment will be that they are not religious and have no intention of being religious. They’re actually hostile to religion,” said Wright.
He does not see Heap’s application as an effort to water down the chaplains’ corps but the exact opposite.
“It seems to be more aimed at doing away with the chaplain corps than it is to minister to those soldiers of that particular belief system,” said Wright.
Wright points out the chaplains were first ordered into the Army by Gen. George Washington and that chaplains play a far more critical role in combat than many people realize.
“Having served myself, I know many commanders would not go downrange into combat without a chaplain in their ranks because of what the chaplains provide for those commanders and the men and women that they lead and the family members left behind,” said Wright.
“You have someone who understands authority. You have someone that’s disciplined. You have someone who has a high view of life, and in those murky fog-of-war situation, I think you would want someone, whether it’s a soldier who’s pulling the trigger or a chaplain who is trying to instruct them about just war and about doing right at the right time for the right reason.
“That’s who you want in your formation and not someone who does not have an informed worldview like that,” said Wright.
With atheists wanting to join a unit specifically for people of deep faith and people wanting to join the military while identifying as a different gender than their biology indicates, how challenging is it for chaplains and other believers in the service today?
“You have a biblical worldview on the one hand that our chaplains hold to and that a lot of Americans hold to and then you have other worldviews which lead to some of these other kinds of belief systems or facts that aren’t really truth.
“You get into, ‘Well, maybe that’s your truth not my truth. There is one absolute truth,” said Wright. “This is an ongoing challenge that has always been around ever since Jesus walked the earth.”
A federal judge fully rejected the Trump administration’s proposed ban on transgender service in the military and also refused to delay the onset of transgender enlistment while the administration considers appealing the decision.
Back in October, federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected much of the Trump administration policy on transgenders in the military. On Monday, she ruled there was no compelling reason to for military to postpone enlistment of transgenders.
According to the Washington Post, Kollar-Kotelly said she “is not persuaded that defendants will be irreparably injured” by mandating that the Defense Department begin accepting applications on January 1.
“With only a brief hiatus, Defendants have had the opportunity to prepare for the accession of transgender individuals into the military for nearly one and a half years,” the judge added.
Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg says the judge’s decision is alarming on a number of fronts.
“I’m not terribly surprised given the obvious bias on the issue that she has shown. She has simply shown herself determined to impose her will upon the executive branch and not show any respect for the constitutional prerogatives that the president and the Defense Department have for making decisions regarding military personnel policy,” said Sprigg.
While not an attorney, Sprigg says Kollar-Kotelly’s legal reasoning seems backwards when it comes to the burden of proof in this case.
“She apparently said that there’s no emergency for the government, that it’s not going to cause any irreparable harm to the military if they begin this process.
“The standard is supposed to be the question, ‘Is there irreparable harm to the plaintiffs?’ I think that it hasn’t been demonstrated that there will be irreparable harm, particularly with respect to this issue of new recruits,” said Sprigg.
Without the policy being implemented, Sprigg says no plaintiff could be suffering irreparable harm.
“Where is the irreparable harm if someone who has not joined the military perhaps has to delay for three more months?” asked Sprigg.
In a brief statement, the Justice Department disagreed with the decision and said it was considering which legal steps to take next.
Sprigg hopes the DOJ appeals soon.
“I hope that the Justice Department would appeal this to a higher court and that they would consider at least giving a delay in the implementation, particularly of this portion of the policy,” said Sprigg.
Sprigg says that without a delay until the legal dispute is resolved, Kollar-Kotelly could be the one inflicting damage to transgenders seeking to serve in the military.
“If they are allowed to join the military beginning on January 1 and then the ultimate disposition of the case is that in fact that they can be discharged, you could argue that they would be worse off than if they had never been permitted to join in the first place,” said Sprigg.
He insists the effort to prevent transgenders from joining the military is entirely a question of readiness.
“The reason for this policy is not because the president or the Defense Department just does not like transgender people. It’s because they have a unique medical condition which make them ineligible for military service because they have limited deployability,” said Sprigg.
“To be fully deployable in military terms, you are supposed to be able to be sent anywhere in the world at any time without the need for specialized medical care. People that are undergoing transgender hormone therapy or have undergone gender reassignment surgery inherently have a need for specialized medical care,” he added.
With the Army suggesting and then scrapping an effort to allow recruits with some history of mental illness to enlist, the military revealed that it is struggling to meet recruitment goals. Sprigg says instead of pushing harder on a political agenda, recruiting numbers would probably improve.
“Perhaps if we moved away from these politically correct social engineering, then we would have an uptick in our overall recruiting picture,” said Sprigg.
A federal judge is placing injunctions on two critical aspects of President Trump’s ban on transgenders serving openly in the military, but a key supporter of Trump’s policy says the judge is jumping the gun since no has been harmed by the policy and appears to be sympathetic to the media’s perspective that this is a civil rights issue.
On Monday, Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly placed an injunction on Trump’s reinstatement of the ban and also blocked any ban on recruitment of transgenders. However, Kollar-Kotelly did not block Trump’s order not to use taxpayer dollars to pay for gender reassignment surgery and related treatments.
Kollar-Kotelly is a Clinton nominee to the federal bench, but was also a Reagan nominee for the D.C Superior Court earlier in her career. She gained widespread notoriety years ago as the judge in the government’s prolonged antitrust suit against Microsoft. The case is Jane Doe v. Donald Trump, as multiple unnamed transgender service members are behind the suit.
But given that the Obama administration unilaterally ended the ban on transgenders serving in the military, does the law side with Trump in his efforts to put the ban back in place? Family Research Council Senior Fellow in Policy Studies Peter Sprigg thinks so.
“I certainly think that this is an executive branch decision and not one for the courts to interfere with,” said Sprigg.
“This was a policy decision on the part of the Obama administration to reverse the longstanding policy that excluded transgender persons from the military. It is a policy decision of the Trump administration to reverse that. This is really not a constitutional issue, although the judge tries to frame it that way,” said Sprigg.
Sprigg believes the sympathetic media coverage of LGBT issues is influencing judges like Kollar-Kotelly.
“I think that the judge has internalized the way that the media covers this, which is that it’s a civil rights issue. It’s a matter of discrimination. It’s a matter of irrational animus towards people because of who they are. They’re simply failing to look at the real issues,” said Sprigg.
So what are the real issues? First of all, Sprigg says no one has standing to challenge the ban yet.
“The presidential memorandum (issued in August) basically said, ‘We are going to have the Pentagon look at this and make plans for how to undo the Obama policy and to report back on those by March 23, 2018.
“At the moment, the practice of the military remains as it was after July of 2016 under the Obama administration. In other words, people who came out as transgender are serving as openly transgender service members in the military, right now are continuing to do so even following the president’s announcement and will continue to do so until March of next year,” said Sprigg.
Sprigg says there is also no grounds to contest the ban on recruitment yet.
“No one has ever been recruited into the military as a transgender person. That policy was supposed to begin on July 1 of this year. Secretary of Defense James Mattis had already postponed that policy by six months before the president announced his decision on the overall policy,” said Sprigg.
“The July 2016 status quo is still in place right now. Therefore, these plaintiffs don’t really have an injury they can point to,” said Sprigg.
Once the timetables play out, the debate will continue. The argument in favor of allowing transgenders to serve is that anyone who is willing to serve and can meet the requirements ought to be given the chance to serve.
Sprigg says there are three compelling reasons to bring back the ban.
“[It’s] not because of any sort of discrimination or animus towards them because of who they are. It is for very specific medical reasons, both because of mental health and physical health considerations.
“People who identify as transgender do suffer from a mental disorder that is known as gender dysphoria. That has always been a disqualifying condition from a mental health perspective,” said Sprigg, who says there are physical standards in play as well.
“People who have had sex reassignment surgery are disqualified from a physical health perspective, as is anyone who has some sort of abnormality or mutilation of the genitalia for any reason,” said Sprigg.
He also points out that the military refuses to deploy anyone undergoing specialized medical treatment, and hormone treatments associated with gender reassignment would render service members unable to be deployed.
Sprigg says the judge doesn’t seem to care about why the previous policy existed.
“Although she quoted the previous policy about the physical and mental health issues when she actually analyzed whether this policy was justified, she didn’t address those issues at all. For the most part, the media does not address those issues either,” said Sprigg.
Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage the LGBT movement remains on offense and on key cultural issues many Republicans seem far less interesting in continuing the fight than their adversaries on the left.
And a leading expert on cultural and family issues says it is time for conservatives to engage in the debates that are engulfing our culture and threaten liberty, but she says the battle must be approached intelligently.
Last month, President Trump’s ban on transgenders serving in the U.S. military was met by fierce protest from Democrats, LGBT activists and a surprising number of Republican lawmakers, including Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, Richard Shelby, R-Alabama and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as well as multiple House members. Hardly any GOP members offered strong support for Trump’s move, with most Republican lawmakers remaining silent.
Then a new Reuters poll showed 58 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing transgenders to serve, including 32 percent of self-identified Republicans.
In yet another survey, this one from Gallup, a record high 17 percent of Americans say they find polygamy morally acceptable and libertarian arguments are emerging that maybe the government has no business prohibiting polygamy since marriage isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution.
So is the political right engaging in a quiet surrender on some core cultural issues?
“Surrender suggests there was ever a fight,” said Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. “On the political front at least there has never been a real, sustained effort to push back in a sustained and logical and forthright manner against some of the truly irrational things that have been coming at us from the sexual revolution.”
“It’s not surrender so much…but just a refusal to show up to the battle in the first place. The Republicans would much rather talk about taxes and things like that than to go and talk about the cultural issues,” said Morse.
She says the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is crammed full of cultural issues, including the debate over taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, but the GOP usually defaults to economics alone in advancing their arguments.
“Those are a huge part of the Obamacare issue. So to pretend that we can avoid that and just talk about economics or just talk about foreign policy or something like that, that’s just putting your head in the sand,” said Morse.
When GOP lawmakers join Democrats in alleging discrimination or bigotry in Trump’s ban on transgender military service, Morse says they not only buy into the liberal talking points but prove they don’t see the real goal behind the liberal push on LGBT issues.
“To try to make everybody go along with the idea that you’ve just changed a person’s sex is a huge power grab. Republicans and conservatives generally I don’t think have recognized how big of a power grab it is and how much it’s really expanding the power of the state,” said Morse.
For those on the right with some inclination to defend traditional values, Morse says two more problems tend to keep them silent in these debates.
“Number one, people don’t know how to respond to these issues. And number two, they’re afraid. There are a lot of fear tactics that have been used by the cultural left, not just transgenders. Transgenders have just perfected the art form,” said Morse
She says the strategies used by the left have been standard since the dawn of the sexual revolution.
“The art form has been developed and cultivated over the years, starting with feminism. You know, a man’s not allowed to have any opinion on a whole range of topics or else he’ll be called a male chauvinist pig and basically silenced. That process of silencing people over cultural issues has been going on a long time,” said Morse.
Another intense source of pressure is a one-sided advocacy coming from all sectors of popular culture.
“if you have two sides of an issue and one side you hear every day, steadily, steadily. You hear it on the radio. You hear it on TV. You hear it on the news. You see it in sitcoms. You see it in movies. You see it on billboards. You see it everywhere, and the other side you hear nothing,” said Morse.
“No matter what the substance of the issue is, eventually the side promoting itself constantly is the side that’s going to win. That’s why institutions like the Ruth Institute and other pro-family organizations need to be getting their message out,” said Morse.
Another element in the silence on the right is embarrassment. Morse says most conservative people feel awkward talking about sex in public. She says folks on the right must get over that.
“That gives the radicals a huge advantage because they’re not embarrassed at all. They’re not shy at all. You can’t shut them up. They’re talking about it all the time,” said Morse.
“Every time you cringe and turn your face away, your opponents are moving forward. You’re giving them an opening. We must equip ourselves to deal with these issues in a logical way, in a non-panicked way,” said Morse.
Morse says social conservatives need to engage now because each win for the cultural liberals creates a push for another assault on traditional values, just as the legalization of same-sex marriage instantly triggered an intensification of the transgender movement.
“We’re trying to create a whole world where the sex of the body and the gender of the body and our physicality is somehow ruled out and written out of law. And since nobody’s ever confronted it, the crazier it gets the more confused people are,” said Morse.
But when it comes to engaging the culture, especially young adults, Morse says cultural conservatives cannot just dive into the debate in today’s headlines but need to extol the unparalleled value of marriage between one man and one woman for life.
“If we start from that perspective, we will at least have some credibility with the millennials. If you just drive right in and say gay people shouldn’t have kids and transgenders shouldn’t serve in the military and never acknowledge the 40 or 50 years of suffering that divorce has caused, you have no credibility at all,” said Morse.
Morse says that is why the Ruth Institute is leading the way in addressing this root issue through its Healing Family Breakdown Spiritual Workshop. She says even though the sexual revolution has gone far down the road from the explosion of divorce, that is where the battle must be waged.
“You want to talk about silent surrender, we surrendered on the divorce issue a long time ago. We’ve got to go back and fight that battle. We’ve go to go back and stick up for the rights of children to know their own parents,” said Morse.
She says young adults have never known anything but the carnage triggered by the divorce culture, whether in their own homes or among their friends.
“What that means is that the idea that marriage has something to do with the stability of a child’s relationship with their parents, that idea is completely foreign to them. When I stand in front of a college audience and I say kids have a right to their parents, they burst into tears sometimes. They’ve never heard anybody say that,” said Morse.
The concept of kids having a right to know and be raised by their biological parents is also why Morse believes polygamy must be rejected before it gains any more traction. .
“The reason you need some kind of institution like marriage is to protect the interests of children to have their own parents. If you start from the premise that children are entitled to a relationship with their parents, the two people who brought them into being, if you start from that position and you reason your way outward, you will end up with traditional Christian sexual morality,” said Morse.
She has no use for the libertarian argument of the government staying out of marriage altogether, even if it means the emergence of polygamy.
“To try to legislate against the law of nature on the scale we’re trying to do in our culture is one more example of the irrationality of the sexual revolution as we’ve seen it unfold here in the last 50 years,” said Morse.
While acknowledging the tide of forces advancing the sexual revolution into its next phase, Morse says the battle must be engaged and can be won.
“We’re being maneuvered and manipulated by the sound bite culture that is very, very noisy and unless you give yourself some silence, unless you give yourself some time to think, you’re going to be pushed and pulled by the latest noise making machine that comes near you,” said Morse.
President Trump reinstated the ban on transgenders serving in the U.S. military on Wednesday, pleasing cultural conservatives and infuriating Democrats, LGBT activists, and quite a few Republicans.
Trump made the announcement Wednesday morning via three tweets.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. 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. Thank you,” stated Trump.
Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg says Trump made the right decision in reaction to President Obama lifting the ban in the final months of his administration.
“The Obama policy was not well-grounded. Therefore, returning to the longstanding policy that has always prevailed in our country was the right decision,” said Sprigg, who contends allowing transgender troops to serve openly would create a major distractions.
“Allowing those who identify as transgender to serve in the military would simply be a distraction from the core mission of our armed forces, which is to fight and win America’s wars. President Trump’s tweets indicated that he understands that,” said Sprigg, who sees the same motivation for Obama pushing Congress to overturn the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military or opening combat roles to women.
“All of these are situations where military effectiveness was not the primary objective and they all fall under the category of social engineering,” said Sprigg.
And why would transgenders serving be a distraction? First, Sprigg says Obama’s lifting of the ban was never about military readiness.
“This was really driven by political correctness. It would undermine good order, morale, and discipline in the military. It would raise all kinds of issues of privacy, just as we’ve discussed in some civilian contexts,” said Sprigg.
He also says a lot of taxpayer dollars would be needed to accommodate the medical needs of people transitioning from one gender identity to another.
“We would actually be asking taxpayers to pay for gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for people who are already serving in the military. And, under the Obama policy, it would have eventually been for people who would choose to join the military as well,” said Sprigg.
Beyond that, Sprigg says the medical needs of such personnel would greatly limit their usefulness in overseas crises.
“Perhaps most importantly of all, these people undergoing these medical treatments have unique medical needs, which makes them non-deployable because they require specialized care that may not be available everywhere in the world where the military is deployed,” said Sprigg.
Sprigg says there is nothing new about medically excluding people from military service, so he sees the accusations of bigotry and discrimination in response to Trump’s announcement as being flawed.
“There are lots of patriotic Americans who are willing to serve their country but are not permitted to serve their country because of special medical conditions. I think those who identity as transgender as essentially no different from that category of individuals. It’s not a question of discrimination,” said Sprigg.
Trump is getting some vocal support for his decision.
“He’s doing what the vast majority of people in America want as well as military leaders,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, who led the unsuccessful effort earlier this month to block taxpayer dollars from being spent on gender reassignment procedures and treatment. “So I’m very pleased that he listened and he acted decisively and will help restore our military’s readiness.”
Iraq War veteran J.R. Salzman offered a lengthy Twitter explanation of how combat duties broke a lot of people he served with.
“Now take someone confused about whether they are a man/woman,” wrote Salzman. “Take those psychological and emotional issues and put them in that environment. Take someone who is right off the bat not uniform or part of the same team. Give them special treatment because of their identity.
“Take that person, put them in that stressful war environment and watch what happens. It’s a f—ing ticking time bomb,” stated Salzman.
In addition to the fierce condemnation offered by Democrats and liberal activists to Trump’s reinstatement of the ban, man of the Republicans who offered a public response were also very critical. The Huffington Post compiled many of those statements.
““Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.
“Americans who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be afforded that opportunity,” said Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, an Iraq War veteran.
“I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them,” added Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, also criticized the decision, as did Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, a former chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Sprigg isn’t overly surprised at the GOP backlash.
“I think they have internalized too many of the talking points to the radical LGBT activists and are not thinking clearly enough about this topic,” said Sprigg.
But while there may be a majority of lawmakers in opposition to Trump’s decision, Sprigg says Republicans would much rather forget about it than try to reverse it.
“I sense that this is the type of issue that a lot of Republican politicians would rather not have to deal with at all. They didn’t want to have to deal with Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s amendment to prevent the spending of taxpayer money for gender reassignment surgery or hormone replacement therapy.
“But I also think they’re not going to want to deal with any effort to overturn the president’s decision,” said Sprigg.