Lawmaker says transgender military ban based on junk science

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“In attempting to create justification for the president’s thoughtless policy tweets, the Department of Defense used outdated studies and cherry-picked data,” Kennedy continued.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.

Reader comments

Wed, Jun 13, 2018 jim saratoga NYC

Funny this thought never crossed Pres JFK's mind nor that of his bro/AG/Senator Bobby (also a Navy vet).This yokel is grovelling for votes and publicity. Another pretty face. Go back to fixing your curls, Joe

Tue, Jun 12, 2018 John C. JBLM

This Country belongs to ALL of us. Anyone physically able to serve their country should be allowed to serve. I'll gladly serve alongside anyone willing and able to pick up a rifle and stand with me. If you meet the standard, you meet the standard. Get over your fear and worry and move this Military forward, stronger together.

Tue, Jun 12, 2018

Who the heck knew there was a "Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force"? No wonder nothing gets done in DC, there must be hundreds of Congressional committees, task forces etc. so all they do is meet in these little groups so everyone can have the title of Chairman of something, never getting the real job done.

Tue, Jun 12, 2018

If you have never served, you have no say so. This will break down order and discipline. I am a Veteran(choice) and a Hispanic female, not my choice, it is who I am. Transgender is a choice, and I do not want it at tax payers expensive. If you are not deployable ready, you don't belong. You are not special. None of us are. Period.

Mon, Jun 11, 2018

Did the reference to deplorable troops mean deployable? Whether you would deploy them might depend on why you deplore them.

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