Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Slate reports that Trump's newest trans troops ban was developed in part by anti-LGBTQ actIvists

According to The Slate, Tony Perkins of FRC helped develop Trump's newest trans troops ban.

Friday night, the Trump Administration released a new policy which bans most transgender men and women from serving in the military.

In a memo released Friday night, the White House said that transgender individuals are “disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.” The full ban was set to officially take effect Friday, though a pair of federal courts in December ordered the U.S. military to allow the recruitment of transgender citizens into the armed forces despite Trump’s declaration. “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,” the memo says.

 Critics of this ban were caught by surprise but quickly voiced their opposition. The White House, however, insisted that;the policy was “developed through extensive study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, including combat veterans."

This would be a departure from last year when Trump tried to implement a trans ban via a tweet message.

One group pleased with the new ban was  the Family Research Council. In a statement, the FRC president Tony Perkins said the following:

President Trump is moving the military away from the crippling policies of the Obama era that left our nation’s defenses at its lowest levels of readiness since before WWII. He recognizes that the last thing we should be doing is diverting tax payer dollars from mission-critical training to funding for controversial gender reassignment surgeries and transgender sensitivity training for service members. The president is keeping his promises and advancing policies essential to keeping our military strong and our country safe.

Perkins conveniently forgot to mention something about the new ban. According to The Slate, he and other anti-LGBTQ activists helped to write it.

 . . .behind the scenes, a “panel of experts” has been crafting a report, also released on Friday, designed to provide pretextual justification for Trump’s ban. According to multiple sources, Vice President Mike Pence played a leading role in the creation of this report, along with Ryan Anderson, an anti-trans activist, and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ lobbying group. Mattis actually supports open transgender service, but he was effectively overruled by Pence, and chose not to spend his limited political capital further defending trans troops. In a memo released on Friday, Mattis encouraged Trump to ban transgender people from enlisting in the military, and to discharge those service members who wish to transition. Trump has now formally adopted these suggestions.

In other words, a policy regarding transgender men and women serving in the military was written in part by folks who are known to have a bias against transgender men and women, even to the point of spreading and relying on false information:

Tony Perkins - head of an anti-LGBTQ organization which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because of the distortions and lies it has spread against the LGBTQ community.

Ryan T. Anderson - an anti-LGBTQ activist with the Heritage Foundation and author of a recent book attacking the transgender community; a book which was criticized for its numerous errors and distortions.

Mike Pence - who has a long history of anti-LGBTQ actions. Last year, Trump caused a firestorm by "jokingly" claiming that Pence wanted to hang gay people.

These three men on any committee developing LGBTQ policy is akin to Richard Spencer and David Duke on a committee developing policy about racism.

The Slate pointed out:

Given its authors, the Trump report’s conclusions are unsurprising. It claims transgender service members “undermine readiness,” which is demonstrably false. The RAND study carefully analyzed the armed forces of Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom after each country legalized open trans service, and it found these policies had no impact on “readiness.” Yet the Trump report disavows this conclusion by pointing out that each country reported some initial “resistance in the ranks”—which, it argues, “is a strong indication of an adverse effect on unit cohesion.”

For now, Trump's newest ban is irrelevant. Court injunctions are in place allowing trans troops to serve in the military. Still, it is very bothersome to find out that Trump consulted with people like Anderson and Perkins to create policy on members of the LGBTQ community.  And also that Pence is allowing his homophobic bias to taint the same process.

It's scary to ponder what other policies about our community these three may be involved in undermining.

UPDATE:Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban - Zack Ford of ThinkProgress has just published a more detailed article of how this newest trans troop came to be and it is scary. Pence is behind the entire thing, even to the point of overruling Mattis (who wanted transgender troops to be able to serve in the military) and creating his own committee comprised of anti-LGBTQ activists while ignoring the committee already created to look at the issue