Lawmaker says transgender military ban based on junk science
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jun 08, 2018
The chairman of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force is calling for the Department of Defense to reverse its decision to uphold President Trump’s ban of transgender service members, contending that the science used for the recommendation was flawed, among other reasons.
“The Trump Administration’s decision to ban transgender troops abandons our proudest values, undermines our armed forces, defies established medical research and ignores basic science,” Rep. Joe Kennedy III, (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Last summer, via Twitter, Trump announced that the military would not move forward on a transgender inclusion policy for the military, and reinstated a ban. The inclusion policy was supposed to take effect July 1, 2017. Several federal lawsuits have prevented the ban from taking full effect.
“In attempting to create justification for the president’s thoughtless policy tweets, the Department of Defense used outdated studies and cherry-picked data,” Kennedy continued. “If president Trump and his administration are committed to all of our service members, they will immediately reverse this bigoted ban,” he said.
Kennedy cited several studies from leading scientific researchers and advocacy groups that also oppose the ban and reaffirm that there is no medical reason to exclude transgender people from serving in the military.
The Defense report cites studies that show a “higher medical comorbidities,” and used data from studies dating back to 1971 to support the ban, according to Kennedy.
The agency also has said that allowing transgender people to serve would affect unit cohesion and readiness for combat, but Kennedy rejects that claim by highlighting those that are already serving in the military.
He said all service chiefs have testified that they were not aware of any problems with discipline, morale or unit readiness among transgender troops.
More than 100 lawmakers signed the letter in support of reversing the ban.
Read the full letter here.