President Donald Trump’s Pentagon chief is reversing the pro-transgender policy set by former President Barack Obama and will reject soldiers or recruits who demand to be classified as members of the other sex.
The Pentagon’s rejection of the transgender ideology pushed by Obama is a huge win for the feminist and conservative groups who want to preserve the legal and civic distinctions between the two equal, different and complementary male and female biological sexes.
The rejection of Obama’s policy prompted emotional protests from progressives who wish to outlaw and stigmatize the distinctions between women and men, and between girls and boys. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House’s minority leader, described the revived policy as a “hateful” insult to “our brave transgender members of the military who serve with honor & dignity.”
The revived policy will not exclude stable soldiers who want to live privately as members of the other sex, but it declines to validate their demand to be classified and treated as members of the other sex.
Under Obama, Pentagon deputies allowed soldiers to flip their “gender marker” in personnel files once the soldiers declared they have the “gender identity” of an opposite-sex person. That gender-identity-beats-biology policy had many knock-on effects, including orders to female soldiers that they must welcome men into their showers once the men have registered themselves as female in the military’s personnel files.
Obama pushed the policy even though very few people claim to be transgender, and far fewer undergo surgery. For example, only 4,118 people tried to change their bodies in surgery from 2000 to 2014, according to a recent, peer-reviewed study. After the 2016 election, Obama told National Public Radio that his transgender push help Trump win the election.
Mattis’s memo says he will grandfather in the small number of soldiers who switched their “gender marker” under the Obama administration.
The memo says the military will accept recruits who prefer to live as members of the other sex but would not recognize their claim or provide any related medical treatment — such as hormones and cosmetic genital surgery. The memo says:
Transgender persons without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, who are otherwise qualified for service, may serve, like all other Service members, in their biological sex.
People who want — or have undergone — sex-related medical treatment will be excluded, says the document:
Transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.
People who have mental health problems because of their desire to flip sex from male to female, or from female to male, will not be allowed to serve:
Transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service.
Mattis allowed three exceptions to that “gender dysphoria” rejection. The exemptions mean the military will accept people who say they are transgender but have not undergone medical treatment, will accept existing soldiers who do not ask to be classified as a member of the other sex, and will accept soldiers grandfathered in because of their acceptance under the Obama administration. The memo says:
Therefore, in light of the Panel’s professional military judgment and my own professional judgment, the Department should adopt the following policies:
( 1) if they have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession;
(2) Service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria after entering into service may be retained if they do not require a change of gender and remain deployable within applicable retention standards; and
(3) currently serving Service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration’s policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender and receive medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.
Mattis’ memo also slammed the secretive Pentagon panel created by Obama to push his transgender policy:
The prior administration largely based its policy on a study prepared by the RAND National Defense Research Institute; however, that study contained significant shortcomings. It refered to limited and heavily caveated data to support its conclusions, glossed over the impacts of healthcare costs, readiness, and unit cohesion, and erroneously relied on the selective experiences of foreign militaries with different operational requirements than our own. In short, this policy issue has proven more complex than the prior administration or RAND assumed.
The criticism will be cited in the lawsuits to prod judges towards a rejection of the Obama panel’s recommendations.
The presidential memo endorsed Mattis’ policy, saying:
These documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense …
Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances …
However, the president’s letter does not directly reject the central political claim by progressive advocates — that the government should agree that every person’s legal sex is determined by their sense of “gender identity,” not by their genetics or biology.
That ideology requires the government to enforce each person’s “gender identity” on other Americans, including schoolchildren and members of athletic clubs, swimming pools, shelters and other places where the vast majority of people prefer to guard their sexual privacy.
Instead, Trump’s directive endorses’ Mattis’s decision to restore normal distinctions between male and female soldiers.
The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.
The transgender ideology is deeply unpopular, especially among women and parents. In 2017, former President Barack Obama told NPR that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Donald Trump to win the presidency.
In practice, the transgender ideology gags women who object to sharing their bathrooms, showers, and sports club with men who claim to have a female “gender identity.”
Multiple polls also show that most Americans wish to help and comfort people who think they are a member of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that a person’s legal sex is determined by their feeling of “gender identity,” not by their biology.
Despite the huge expense, conflict, and damage to young people, the gender ideology is rapidly gaining power, aided by huge donations from wealthy individuals and medical companies. In Ohio, for example, in February, a judge forced parents of a teenage girl to give up custody so she can begin a lifetime of drug treatments and surgery that will allow her to appear as a male. Also, officials in New York and various universities have threatened to penalize people who do not refer to men as if they are women, and several judges have declared that Pentagon officials must accept recruits who want to change their sex.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender” has already attacked and cracked many of the popular social rules which help Americans manage the cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different and equal men and women.
These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.