In the never-ending onslaught of bad ideas emanating from the White House, the latest is denying transgender Americans from serving in the military.
There are a host of reasons why this is a very bad idea.
- Transgender Americans have served and are serving with honor and distinction in our military.
- Transgender troops serve well in eighteen countries around the world including two of our close allies — the United Kingdom and Israel.
- Modern science tells us that gender orientation is biological and not volitional. In other words, it reflects one’s being and is not a choice.
- The American Psychological Association states that being transgender “does not, by itself, limit the ability of individuals to function well and excel in their work, including military service.”
It would be less hypocritical if the idea did not stem from the “brain” of Donald Trump whose record of military service is non-existent.
During the Vietnam War, he received four student deferments and finally a 4-F classification when he presented a doctor’s letter stating that he had bone spurs.
Of course, this ailment did not prevent him from playing sports such as football, squash and tennis.
This attempt to exclude transgender citizens from the military is another example of Trump rolling back decisions promulgated by President Obama.
It plays to his fundamentalist base which condemns those who are transgender, gay and lesbian.
We should heed the words of experts like Aaron Belkin who state: “There is no evidence to support a policy that bars from military service patriotic Americans who are medically fit and able to deploy…Our troops and nation deserve better.”
Dr. Hal Sobel