With a recent ruling
on Trump's ban of transgender troops in the military throwing everything into bizarre chaos (the ban will be implemented sometime unannounced or may be it won't), it's easy to forget that that mess we are presently in is because of Mike Pence's anti-LGBTQ prejudice and those who helped him subvert fairness and accuracy.
But we won't forget. We will never forget and we will bring it up until no one will ever forget it:
From ThinkProgress, March 25, 2018
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reported Friday night that, according to multiple sources, Pence played “a leading role” in creating the report, along with Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, which has been dubbed “Trump’s favorite think tank,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), an anti-LGBTQ hate group. Both Heritage and FRC praised the report Friday. According to Stern’s reporting, it was true that Mattis favored allowing transgender military service, but Pence “effectively overruled” him.
A separate source independently confirmed to ThinkProgress Saturday that Pence was involved, characterizing him as forming his own ad hoc “working group,” including Anderson and Perkins, separate from the panel of experts Mattis had assembled. Though it bears Mattis’ signature, the report released Friday appears to reflect the findings of Pence’s working group and not the committee report that Mattis submitted to Trump last month. Mattis’ original document was not currently publicly available at the time of the recommendation, but it was widely reported that Mattis favored an inclusive approach that resembled what had originally been proposed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter under President Obama in 2016. His February recommendation, also released Friday, jibes with the new report, contradicting reports at the time.
How exactly Pence overruled Mattis’ recommendation over the past month the source did not know. But his working group’s influence is apparent. In particular, the report features numerous anti-trans talking points that FRC and other anti-LGBTQ groups have used in various campaigns favoring discrimination against transgender people. It also attempts to distort the research on transgender health in ways that directly parallel Anderson’s recently released book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. Anderson likewise argued in his book against supporting trans people in their gender transitions, and the recommendations in the report rely on a strikingly similar framing.
Watchdog site Media Matters had this
to say about Pence's "experts" on the same day
Family Research Council has a history of pushing anti-trans misinformation to justify harmful and discriminatory policies. When the transgender military ban was first announced in July 2017, FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg published a report with the false claim that over the next ten years, allowing transgender people to serve in the military could cost “as much as $1.9 to $3.7 billion,” an estimate significantly higher than those from the Pentagon-commissioned Rand Corp study and research from the Palm Center. In the past, FRC and its representatives have also spread misinformation about transgender-inclusive restrooms, promoted conversion therapy, claimed that LGBTQ youth suicide rates would drop if the teenagers were “discourage[d] from self-identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” and suggested that being transgender is a “cultural phenomenon.”
In July, FRC president Tony Perkins admitted that FRC worked with the White House on the transgender military ban, and in August, Foreign Policy reported that FRC was lobbying Congress to keep the Pentagon from using government funds to “provide medical treatment related to gender transition.”
Another of Trump’s “experts,” anti-trans extremist Ryan T. Anderson, has repeatedly used biased and junk science to justify bigotry against the transgender community. In February, he published When Harry Became Sally, an entire book dedicated to discrediting the transgender experience. The book falsely argues that transgender people are mentally ill and would have better outcomes if they did not transition.
Men and women fighting to defend out freedoms
don't deserve to have their careers and livelihoods stolen because of other people's bigotry and the lies they tell. The truth will come out and those who have lied will have to defend what they have done.
Related post - Let Us Serve: These Brave Transgender Troops Just Made History in Congress