Lawmakers, LGBTQ groups divided over transgender military service

Washington (CNN)Less than a month into the six-month delay set by Defense Secretary James Mattis to review the United States military’s policy on transgender service members, President Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to enlist or serve in the military.

“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,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “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.”
The transgender military ban, as well as Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s failed controversial amendment to cut funding for transgender service members’ medical treatments, has sparked renewed debate over transgender personnel serving in the US military.
Ash Carter, the defense secretary under former President Barack Obama, announced an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military in 2016, but allowed for a year-long review process to allow the Pentagon to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits into the military.
While Mattis announced last month that he was delaying the July 1 deadline set by Carter to review the military’s policy on allowing transgender personnel, Trump’s Twitter announcement made the White House’s position known.
    During debate over the Hartzler amendment, Mattis called the Missouri Republican to encourage her to withdraw it from consideration. “We had a good conversation about it,” Hartzler said, although she ultimately moved forward with her amendment.
    In the aftermath of that battle and following Trump’s tweet, lawmakers and LGBTQ advocates are left divided over many of the issues that surround transgender military service, including questions of military effectiveness and readiness, government funding for transition-related surgeries, deployability of transgender service members and the impact on living arrangements and in-unit cohesion.
    A 2016 Rand Corporation study commissioned by the Defense Department put the number of transgender people in the military between 1,320 and 6,630, out of a 1.3 million-member force.
    Requests for comment from the Department of Defense and the White House regarding the timeline of the military ban and its impact on transgender individuals currently serving were not immediately returned.

    The Hartzler amendment

      Trump’s announcement comes after Hartzler made headlines earlier in July for her amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which called for cuts in military funding for transition-related surgeries or hormone therapy treatments.
      “Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code,” the amendment stated.
      Although the amendment was narrowly defeated, 209-214, Hartzler told CNN in a phone interview last week that several absences from Republican lawmakers could have tipped the scales. Six Republicans, including House minority whip Steve Scalise, who is still recovering from last month’s congressional baseball practice shooting, did not vote on the amendment. In total, 24 GOP lawmakers and a unanimous Democratic bloc voted against it.
      “The vote count would have been different if we had several members who ended up having to be away from their vote at the last minute,” Hartzler told CNN. “But it was very close.”
      During a press conference Tuesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan was also asked about GOP support for the Hartzler amendment.
      “As you saw in the NDAA, it didn’t have a majority on the floor,” Ryan said. “But a majority of our conference is for the Hartzler amendment, … so the typical tension of an issue like that is occurring.”
        One of those lawmakers who opposed the measure, Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan, explained his decision in a lengthy Facebook post following the vote.
        “The NDAA is an authorization bill for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2017. Sec. Mattis is expected to present a new policy, if at all, by January 1, 2018. In other words, the Trump administration is asking for only three additional months under the current policy,” Amash wrote. “Given the facts, circumstances, and eminently reasonable request from the Trump administration, it was not a difficult decision to vote no on this amendment. After Sec. Mattis announces the DoD’s finalized policy, we can discuss the policy with him, evaluate it, and seek changes if necessary.”
        “With respect to transgender persons, we should focus on the best science, not the political or philosophical opinions of partisans,” the Republican lawmaker added.
        Trump’s latest tweets about the US military’s policy on transgender service members have thrust the Hartzler amendment back into the spotlight.
          While it remains unclear what a new transgender military ban would mean for the future of Hartzler’s attempts to cut military funding for transition-related surgeries, she reacted to Trump’s tweet by telling CNN in a statement: “I’m pleased to hear that President Trump shares my readiness and cost concerns, and I’m glad the President will be changing this costly and damaging policy. Military service is a privilege, not a right.”
          “We must ensure all our precious defense dollars are used to strengthen our national defense,” she added.

          The question of military readiness

          As part of her amendment, Hartzler claimed that the transition-related surgeries and hormone therapies would affect the readiness and deployability of transgender service members.
          “I have a real concern with money being taken away from training and modernization and readiness to go to surgeries on soldiers that will render them non-deployable for a long amount of time,” Hartzler explained to CNN.
          “Recovery time, complications, and ongoing hormone treatments preclude many of them from being able to do a lot of the tasks needed in the military,” she added.
          Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay Secretary of the Army after being appointed by President Obama in May 2016, said he takes a different approach on the idea of military readiness.
            “When I think about readiness, I don’t just think about today, I think about the future,” Fanning told CNN Wednesday evening. “Opening up service to people who have been previously denied helps our readiness, certainly in the long term. It allows us to recruit from a bigger pool of people, and it ensures that our military reflects the society that it protects.”
            “And it lives up to the very values that our military is defending: freedom, opportunity, equality,” Fanning added.

            The question of in-unit cohesion

            Rep. Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, was one of the 209 Republican lawmakers who supported Hartzler’s proposal.
            While Hunter drew criticism for saying that service members needed to “figure out whether you’re man or a woman before you join,” the California Republican stood by his comments.
            “You should have a maturity level where you know what sex you are prior to joining because that’s a big step, joining the US military,” Hunter told CNN.
            “Joining the military is a big deal, at least it was for me. When I joined, I knew I was going to go to war,” he said.
            The congressman entered active service in 2002 following the September 11 terrorist attacks, and served three combat tours overseas — including two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
            When asked about what effect proposals like the Hartzler amendment would have on transgender service members, Hunter suggested that it would impact in-unit cohesion.
            “I would bring it down to the small unit level. Obviously, it’s not going to matter if someone’s a comptroller at the Pentagon and they’re a transgender person,” he said. “That’s not going to have that much of an effect. But if you’re in Afghanistan or Iraq, and you’re living with 10 people on a little forward operating base, or intermixed with Iraqis or Syrians, I think it would have a major effect.”
            But Fanning disagrees with the California congressman on the issue of in-unit cohesion, telling CNN, “It appears to me that there’s more concern for unit cohesion issues in Congress than there is in our military.”
            Navy Lt. Cdr. Blake Dremann — who in September became the first known openly transgender service member to be promoted following Carter’s repeal of the transgender military ban — also pushed back on Hunter’s comments.
            “We are service members first, and our transition is part of that, but it’s not the number one thing that we’re concerned with. We are concerned with the mission and what’s going on. We all make every effort to maintain our readiness,” Dremann told CNN.
            Throughout Dremann’s career, the Navy lieutenant commander was deployed 11 times and has been stationed inside the Pentagon since 2015.

            The question of cost

            In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Wednesday, Hartzler expressed her concerns about the cost of medical treatments for transgender service members in the military.
            “I’ve looked at this issue very, very closely, and this policy is going to cost $1.35 billion over the next 10 years alone just for sex reassignment surgeries for the transgender members of our service,” Hartzler said.

              Unclear what happens to transgender troops under new ban

            When pressed further by Blitzer about how Hartzler calculated her cost estimates, the Republican lawmaker responded: “Well, our own office did that analysis and we feel very confident in it. There’s one that’s been done by the Family Research Council that says $3.7 billion. So the question is, though, should we be spending any tax dollars to do gender reassignment surgeries when we have soldiers who don’t have body armor or bullets?”
            “We need to be investing every dollar that we have to meet the threats that we’re facing as a nation,” she added.
            But other researchers have pushed back against Hartzler’s estimates. Jody Herman, Scholar of Public Policy and former Manager of Transgender Research at the UCLA Williams Institute, told CNN that the costs of transition-related surgeries cited by Hartzler are overblown.
            The RAND study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members. The cost could range from $2.4 million to $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total Defense Department health care expenditures, the study found.
            “In the Family Research Council’s analysis, they made a series of assumptions that, in my opinion, lead to a substantial overestimate of the cost,” Herman said. “I think the cost estimates produced by the RAND Corporation a while back were based on more sound and defensible assumptions and are, therefore, more reliable estimates.”
            Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe-SLDN, an advocacy group for LGBTQ military personnel, slammed Hartzler’s cost estimates, calling them “absolutely absurd.”
            “Even at their highest, they would never reach close to a billion dollars or close to her estimates in 10 years,” Thorn said.
            But Hartzler said she remains “very confident in our numbers,” and added that “any way that you look at it, it is going to be a cost to the military.”

            The question of discrimination

            The Trump administration’s military ban announced Wednesday morning, as well as Hartzler’s amendment, have generated significant criticism from LGBTQ advocacy groups.
            Stephen Peters, press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, told CNN that statements made by lawmakers like Hartzler and Hunter are “based in both ignorance and fear,” adding that transgender service members “are willing to put their life on the line for our country, and they have earned the health care they and their families need and deserve.”
            The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also released a statement responding directly to the military ban, calling Trump’s decision “a dangerous and unpatriotic move to reinstate a ban on qualified transgender people serving in the military.”
            Combat veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, also condemned the military ban in a statement: “When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind.”
            Fanning echoed Duckworth’s sentiments, calling the ban “not just a setback for the transgender community, but a setback for the military, and a setback for our country, because this does not reflect the values upon which we were formed as a nation.”
            In light of Wednesday morning’s military ban announcement, Mac McEachin, a former Army non-commissioned officer who entered the IRR reserves to attend graduate school overseas, expressed concern that the ban “would deal a huge blow to our military’s readiness.”
            “If this were to go into effect, it would deal a huge blow to our military’s readiness and would undermine both unit cohesion and the thousands of military leaders who support their troops being able to serve,” McEachin, who is transgender, told CNN via email Wednesday.
            “At the end of the day, transgender members want to serve like anybody else,” McEachin added in a separate phone interview.

            More From this publisher : HERE

             


            RELATED PRODUCTS
          • Success strategies to build massive income as a freight broker.this ebook is in pdf
          • Discover how to create a fun, profitable and effective mastermind group faster and easier.
          • Learn How To Improve Restaurant Dining Room Service, Gain A Better Reputation and Raise Your Sales
          • Is This Guy Bigger than Edward Snowden
          • System unleashes the groundbreaking secrets of the latest demolisher betting system.
          • Clickbank Ads
             

            If you like our content help us with a share… or two …  

            Also -  I have some free stuff for you .......

            Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:

            Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!

             

            Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?

             

            Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.

            If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing.  Free.  Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look

             

            Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?

             

            Nr 5.  You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...

             

            Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong.  How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.

               

            Nr 7.  Special free report .  It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...

            The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!

            Nr 8.  Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of  traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.

            Nr 9.  When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !

            Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!

              Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!

            Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!

            Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.

            Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.

            Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.

            Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)

            Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.

            Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?

               

            Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"

            This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't  forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.

            Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!

            Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.

            Nr 22. If you've ever failed to create a WordPress site of your own or typically waste hours & even weeks trying to figure it all out on your own....

            Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...

            Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!

            Use them  .... and have fun !