America is known in this day in age to have a lot of governmental issues, the topic I have chosen to write is about Trump and his wishes to ban Transgenders form being a part of the United States military. There are currently 323.1 million people currently living in united states 1.3 million of those people identify as Transgender. But what does it mean to be A transgender?
According to dictionary.com it is relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth; especially: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
For those who may not know the government of America is best labeled as a constitutional federal republic. In other words, it is governed by elected leaders and representatives while being varied between state and federal government. With that said it takes more than the word of a president to make something into a law.
This made many people question the wellbeing of the current soldiers. Do they remain, or will they be kicked out due to their sexual orientation? According to the research team from Williams Institute, they calculated that about 15,000 transgender soldiers are currently serving. In other words that means 15,000 individuals will be out of a job, medical care and retirement benefits. What will become their families if they are unable to support them?
Before trump became the president of America there was no problem with transgender community and the military. But he first addressed the topic on Twitter on July 26, 2017, saying
“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.”
Trump also made a comment on twitter about our former President Barack Obama saying that he was a failure and that he “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.”
Weeks after it followed with further comments from Secretary of Defense James Mattis reinforcing Trumps earlier statement clarifying any uncertainty. In a nutshell, he said that trans individuals could not enter the military, and those already in the military would be immediately discharged. He was also put in charge of the fate of the trans soldiers already in the military.
The topic later faced the surface again on October 30th, 2017 in an interview. Nathaniel Frank wrote an article responding to Trumps vs Trans Interview on December 18, 2017.He said that “Donald Trump lies with impunity or that his dissembling infects those around him with the same depravity.”
He is convinced that Trump is pressured the military to state false claims in court. As you can see Trump’s plan has caused havoc across our country and has angered many LGBTQ members and their supporters which caused many individuals to take action. This caused people from all around to pick a side to be or not be a part of the cause that is the question.
Those who are for the cause joined together in peaceful protest and marches to raise awareness to fight the system for equality. In fact, several current transgender members of the military, along with others who wanted to join the cause, sued the department of defense in federal court (Which includes Trump). The ACLU plaintiff released a statement saying
“We want to show the president that we won’t go down without a fight,” says one attorney of Trump’s recent decision to roll back transgender rights. Campaigns along with other individuals did not shy away with their opinion on the case either.
The HRC (Human right campaign) also made a comment on twitter saying
“Threatening 15K currently serving troops who put their lives at risk is unpatriotic and dangerous.”
Even Joe Biden made a comment saying
“Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.”
Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California
“The President’s exclusion of Americans who happen to be transgender from serving in the military is not based on facts, it is based on naked bigotry. I know because I served on active duty. The military doesn’t care what your sexual orientation or identity is, or who you love. It cares about whether you can shoot straight and complete the mission. The President’s discriminatory decision harms our military readiness for our volunteer-based military.”
I could go on all day showing all the things people quoted in interviews or on social media. But in the end what does it mean? Yes, we are in the “Land of the free” and we are entitled to our own opinions and to freedom of speech. It came to no surprise to me when I continued my research to discover that the federal district court in the District of Columbia placed Trump’s ban on hold. Reason one It lacked probable cause and reason two it violates the constitutional guarantee of equality.
Violation one is pretty much arguing that just like other unidentifiable groups the court believes that transgenders should be shielded from unconstitutional discrimination for they are “politically weak”. Even though there are little cases addressing anti-trans discrimination. On October 30th the court Stated that trans deserve constitutional help and that they fit the Description of being politically powerless.
Violation two the court continued and found that this case involves discrimination based on sex and gender. They also said that even though the policy is about someone’s identity as trans, the basis of the discrimination is sex and gender. A member of the court stated the policy “Inherently discriminates against current and aspiring service members based on their failure to conform to gender stereotypes. The defining characteristic of a transgender individual is that their inward identity, behavior, and possibly their physical characteristics, do not conform to stereotypes of how an individual of their assigned sex should feel, act and look.” Which makes this a form of sex discrimination which the Constitution prohibits. These two violations are the main reason for the hold of the band. The fact is that If Trumps likes it or not whether if he tweeted about the ban or not things would have been just the way just with less aware people. One argument was to the judge from Trumps officials saying that the ban didn’t start yet so it has no legal right to challenge its grounds to oppose it. The judge lashed back in disagreement (with a very long point given a statement) saying “These arguments, while perhaps compelling in the abstract, wither away under scrutiny. The Memorandum unequivocally directs the military to prohibit indefinitely the accession of transgender individuals and to authorize their discharge. This decision has already been made. These directives must be executed by a date certain, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be executed. No argument or evidence suggesting that being transgender in any way limits one’s ability to contribute to society. Transgender individuals have immutable and distinguishing characteristics that make them a discernable class. As a class, transgender individuals have suffered, and continue to suffer, severe persecution and discrimination. Despite this discrimination, the Court is aware of no argument or evidence suggesting that being transgender in any way limits one’s ability to contribute to society. The exemplary military service of Plaintiffs in this case certainly suggests that it does not. Finally, transgender people as a group represent a very small subset of society lacking the sort of political power other groups might harness to protect themselves from discrimination.”
“The Accession and Retention Directives’ exclusion of transgender individuals inherently discriminates against current and aspiring advice members based on their failure to conform to gender stereotypes. The defining characteristic of a transgender individual is that their inward identity, behavior, and possibly their physical characteristics, do not conform to stereotypes of how an individual of their assigned sex should feel, act and look. By excluding an entire category of people from military service on this characteristic alone, the Accession and Retention Directives punish individuals for failing to adhere to gender stereotypes. A service member who was born a male is punished by the Accession and Retention Directives if he identifies as a woman, whereas that same service member would be free to join and remain in the military if he was born a female, or if he agreed to act in the way society expects males to act. The Accession and Retention Directives are accordingly inextricably intertwined with gender classifications.”
His administration tried countless times to argue and find flaws in the case and it wouldn’t be a shocker if he tries another time. Unless Trump’s Department finds better evidence, the military will remain adding thousands of trans troops. The Pentagon stated that they will allow them to enlist on January 1, 2018, until further notice. This ruling that allows the military to pay for gender-affirming surgeries and other trans-inclusive medical services. The money that Trump so desperately cares about is only about 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase health care, in all honesty, its not even much of a difference. The outcome of the medical care itself will mean everything to the soldiers. I found a comment on Epeak.com from an American Psychiatrist and he pointed out that “Transitioning helps reduce gender dysphoria — a state of emotional distress caused by how someone’s body or the gender they were assigned at birth conflicts with their gender identity. Untreated gender dysphoria, which not all trans people suffer from, in the same way, can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide, so treating it could mean fewer mental health issues for trans people serving in the military”.
In conclusion, I think that It is also very imported to look into things like this because it forces Americans to talk more about anti-trans discrimination. I personally believe that no matter one’s race, religion or sexual orientation everyone deserves equality especially if they are putting their life aside to serve their country.